Adelinda Araújo Candeias and the Giftedness in INVERSO magazine
CHRC researcher and professor at the Department of Medical and Health Sciences at ESDH-UÉ, Adelinda Araújo Candeias explained to INVERSO magazine the difficulty of implementing strategies and policies focused on valuing and including gifted and/or talented individuals. Despite the opening created in the last decade to the understanding of high abilities and the education and inclusion of gifted children, young people and adults, there are still difficulties in their full integration.
“We live in a deeply segregated society! We exclude people who do not fit a standard of 'normality' based on statistical frequencies and a conception of 'economically profitable work'. As a psychologist and as a citizen, what I observe is that our social organization is deeply stratified, organized into clusters of children, adolescents, adults and the elderly! It lacks intergenerationality, sustainability and inclusiveness.”
Giftedness refers to a characteristic or set of characteristics that can be manifested in multiple areas of human capacity and activity – intellectual, motor, academic, social, artistic, mechanical and emotional, usually with a performance above the typical standard expected for the age/reference group. The development of these characteristics can generate vulnerabilities in the path of integral development, and create obstacles to the person's quality of life and well-being. The pattern of “Gaussian normality” is still very present when we refer to children, young people and adults, which generates strong barriers to their development, sometimes to their health and consequently to their inclusion. Some of these children and young people end up being labeled as difficult, temperamental, hyperactive, restless, perfectionists, unadapted, which can lead to problems of school failure and mental health. Adelinda defends that the effective work of inclusion begins with educational institutions, where, along with political and social guidelines, talent and high abilities are encouraged throughout life, from pre-school education to higher education.
“Educational institutions are a reflection of the society they are part of and need instruments that promote inclusion, such as the continuous training of professionals oriented towards more inclusive and differentiating practices and towards the needs and potential of students and human resources”.
Adelinda Araújo Candeias, as a researcher who has developed her scientific activity in the field of Developmental Psychology and Education, coordinator of the Évora delegation of ANEIS: National Association for the Study and Intervention in Giftedness (https://www.aneis.org/aneis/), has invested in European projects that generate evaluation and intervention models in development and well-being throughout life, from an inclusive perspective.
“As a psychologist and researcher, I have focused my interests firstly on understanding what brings us together and what distinguishes us from one another - what we call individual diferences. Secondly, on the implications of these differences in vulnerability of people, and thirdly, for innovative and inclusive assessment and intervention models that suit people's characteristics”.
Read the full interview here (page 12): https://www.uevora.pt/ue-media/Revista-Inverso/Inverso5
Photo credits: INVERSO