The recent economic crisis has surfaced problems related to Europe’s economic model. On one hand, the EU has lifted a non-negotiable banner through its Europe 2020 strategy calling for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, and on the other hand, there is a questionable economic model to base it on. Drastic action must be taken to change the current situation.
A popular proverb says “A fish rots from the head down”, meaning that when a state fails, it is the leadership that is the root cause. Leadership seems to be a possible cause of Europe’s ill faded economy. Education is called to establish the foundation for the development of a new type of leadership to take the responsibility of the new European economies. But effective leaders do not grow on trees. We need to look into our education systems to draw some pure talents.
Gifted education has been the source for prominent and valuable human resources. The idea is still good; the only difference is that Europe is in need of a new recipe in order to hatch the right leaders of tomorrow.
Breed2Lead is a project focused on a new breed of leaders found in gifted education. The need for a new generation of leaders who will satisfy a new set of criteria and have specific leadership characteristics will result to the formation of a methodology that will assist primary education teachers identify, assess and develop such talents.
The objectives of the project are:
– establish a new definition for leadership which will give European economy back its lost competitiveness
– form a specialised methodology to identify, assess and develop gifted leaders in primary education and create a nurturing environment for them to reach their full potential
– enrich any existing gifted education practices
– develop a specialised training plan and didactic material to train teachers giving them a holistic approach to develop the gift of leadership of pupils with some natural leadership charisma
Education authorities and stakeholders, primary schools, teachers, gifted students and their families as well as the business community and business stakeholders are the direct beneficiaries of this project and therefore represent the target groups of the project.
The project will commence by scoping for all the cognitive abilities a Disruptive Change Agent (DCA) must possess. The source of such information is gathered from the business community through a survey and interviews. The identified DCA cognitive abilities will lead to the skills required to support them. Focus groups will allow all target groups to voice their opinion of the format of a skills development strategy.
The set of cognitive abilities supported by a set of skills will allow the formal definition of a DCA which will regulate their extent and the correlation between them. Having the DCA definition in place, the consortium will prepare set of tools which will enable trained teachers to identify, assess and develop the new generation of leaders. The skills development plan will rely on the agreed development strategy, giving teachers all necessary educational ammunition.
The DCA definition and the tools for identifying, assessing and developing skills, as well as a set of quality assurance measures will form the DCA methodology.
The DCA methodology will set the ground for a training plan and didactic materials in order to train the teaching staff on the three distinct stages: identify, assess and develop. The training curriculum and materials developed for this purpose will be used during a train-the-trainer training activity in Cyprus. The partners will designate two participants with minimum prerequisites to attend and taste all intellectual outputs produced by the consortium. To secure sustainability of the project, the trained participants will commit to give two training events each within one year.
The partnership will organise a final conference in Budapest to dissiminate the project outputs. The final conference will not be the only dissemination activity of the project. Each partner will perform various dissemination activities individually and collectively.
The project will give to the European primary education a complete system to use for the development of the new breed of leaders. Too much talent goes to waste in Europe because there is no support system to bring it to surface and nourish it. Breed2Lead makes a very important first step. Similar support systems can be developed for other talent categories, making Europe a leader in the utilization of its human wealth.