The Italian Laboratory of Research and Development of Potential, Talent and Intellectual Giftedness- Labtalento has ben founded January 22, 2009 under the direction of Professor Maria Assunta Zanetti and Professor Eliano Pessa, with the intent to carry out research and intervention in the field of exploitation the potential, talent and intellectual giftedness.
Statistics tell us that about 5% of the students in our schools has a high potential, but unfortunately, this is not always recognized and adequately supported. An example of a negative phenomenon, linked to the lack of recognition of the high potential of these children/teenagers, is represented by the underachievement (discrepancy between the academic performance of a child and the indexes of abilities, like the IQ; Davis and Rimm, 1989) which in many cases produces drop-out (more or less early school leavers) and/or problems related to socio-relational discomfort.
The theme of intellectual giftedness and potential is more relevant than ever, given that the European Directives and Italian Ministry of Education (MIUR) insist much on the need to work to create the conditions that they can accommodate and promote the full development of our capital human, but, indeed, the Italian context of the currently displayed one of the few remaining, who still does not have research programs and specific action in the field of intellectual giftedness.
Thus inside the Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences of the University of Pavia, the first Italian University laboratory aiming to help both children and young people with high cognitive potential and those in possession of a talent or a specific skills in a field, to fully develop their resources, has been established.
The families who come to LabTalento come from all over Italy for help: the numerous requests for evaluation are an index of the real needs of families, who often find themselves facing the difficulties connected to the evolutionary characteristics of a high-potential child.
As Laboratory, following an incremental conception of intelligence, we aim to support the development and the full realization of the potential of these individuals, considering the strengths and weaknesses that act at the individual, family and non-family. Our aim is therefore to enhance the individuality and personal characteristics of the high-potential children/teenagers, building targeted to their needs and circumstances. The support of such individuals, in a more and more advanced society, is in fact indispensable to ensure that they can find answers to questions articulated and complex.
FAMILIES AND TEACHERS
Our activities are aimed at young people but also at their families and teachers, basic landmarks during growth, with several objectives:
- Supporting and help families
- Providing an evaluation service
- Enabling research projects
- Producing tools and materials
- Spreading awareness of the issue
- Networking between professionals and families
- Organizing training of teachers
In these years, the Laboratory has been working on several fronts and has achieved some important results by publishing on national journals (including Psychology and School Psychology of education) and inside international contexts, and getting visibility even at popular level too.
To growing the laboratory needs of supporters who believe in the importance of investing in human and social capital of the children and young people with high potential, funding research and support paths and intervention in this area.