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Talent support and promotion

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The Gymnasium am Münsterplatz values the talents of students and wishes to support them beyond the school curriculum. A common but outdated approach to talent support is that the faster students first fulfil the regular tasks and are then given – often much too late – additional learning material, which is does not produce the wanted effect. In fact students are shrivelled up with boredom before receiving new learning objectives. The need different instead of additional learning content. The focus thus has to move from a quantitative to a qualitative approach.

There is a variety of definitions for gifted students to be found in research, here two examples:

“... gifted students are those who, because they learn at a faster rate and can comprehend more advanced ideas at younger ages, can reason much like older students.” (Brody und Stanley 2005: 28) 

“Gifted children are precocious in their domain of ability, they are passionate about, they think, learn, and solve problems in ways that are different and they are aware of being different.” (Karolyi und Winner 2005: 378

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Motivation and individual interests

We have three different strands of talent support and promotion of gifted students, in which the students individual interests and activities play a crucial role. On the one hand there are activities within the mandatory school curriculum. which leave the students a certain choice so they can develop their own personal interests more and express their commitment, their creativity and their skills. Among those are the courses on “project learning”, the work time in the learning centre and the wide range of elective courses (major and minor elective subject, art subject, elective sport, elective courses). Here the students can first give a direction to their educational career.

Furthermore the GM has additional offers, which students can optionally choose with the opportunity of further developing their talents: choir, jazz band, European Youth Parliament, kangourou contest, theatre projects, debating club, sport tournaments.

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Educational offers with selection process

In a third area students can qualify for further educational programmes, e.g. the International Baccalaureate Programme, study weeks at the ETH Zurich, participation at the Swiss Scientific Olympiads and at contests for “Schweizer Jugend Forscht”. We would also like to nurture other talents. Thus talented writers for example can participate in external writing workshops with authors. Likewise we also support young talents in the areas of sports, music and theatre with partial exemption from regular school classes and leave of absences for competitions, contests and performances.

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Another programme that has run successfully for several years is studying with the programme “Schülerstudium” at the University of Basel with accumulation of credit points (‘early birds’). Our students attend lectures and seminars at the University of Basel, the missed school content has to be worked through independently and all the required examinations need to be taken. During their studies the students will be advised by the responsible vice-principal.

Contact person is vice-principal K. Ricklin (