Nurturing Gifts and Talents

Individuality is a trait that is often heralded as an ideal in our world. Unfortunately, it isn’t fully accepted or appreciated in our current mainstream education model. When public education became an American mandate, the industrial giants of the era hired experts to determine the subjects to be required. They wanted to make sure they had people who could do the work necessary in an industrial society. Math, English, Science, and Social Studies became known and accepted as the core curriculum everyone needed to learn. These subjects, taught in a one-size-fits-all manner, would adequately prepare people to become contributing members of society.

Fast forward to today, though, and employers are flummoxed and discouraged by the young people who are graduating from our high schools and colleges now. They seem to only be able to use these “core subjects” in a very prescribed manner, if at all. This is an issue because today’s world requires people who can read, think, take on projects, and communicate with a diverse group of people. They need to be able to strategize, collaborate, be flexible in finding solutions and finishing projects that have never been done before. These seem to be skills and sensibilities that haven’t been nurtured and developed in their schooling.

Ray Peacock, Director of Research at Philips Laboratories in the UK said, “Lots of people think knowledge is what we want, and I don’t believe that because knowledge is astonishingly transitory. We don’t employ people as knowledge bases. We employ people to actually do things or solve things.” Rather than viewing learning as getting your ticket punched or as getting your diploma signed, people today need to learn how to think and to build their own foundations for the future. Creating meaningful and relevant learning experiences for our children and ourselves which identify and nurture unique gifts, talents, and passions is not a luxury, it is a necessity today!

What shifts can you make to look inside at your gifts and talents? What can you do to nurture them as well as nurturing the gifts and talents of your children?

albert einsteinThe Creative Process

Some expressions of learning — perhaps those we hear about the most — are the creations that are the results of the process. When a creator understands something or masters something, he will use that skill or knowledge to invent, innovate or revolutionize. He may be an Einstein who takes what others have done and creates an understanding that bridges the gap for many who are not in the field, or he may stumble upon something like bread mold and recreate a purpose for it.

Creators are daring souls who often immerse themselves in thought and invention. The world seldom fully understands or appreciates them until they produce, but we understand that there is much work that comes before the breakthrough. The creators enjoy the entire process, though. That’s why they stay huddled in thought or experimentation for so long at a time; they are fully engaged. Creators dream and then pursue those dreams.

When you see someone dreaming at your house, is that idle thought or the creative process? Only time will tell…