Laboratorio de talentos (in English, Talents laboratory)

What do a coach, a researcher, a Ph.D., an artist, a football player, a rugby player, a podcaster and a singer do in a school with children of 5th and 6th grade of primary school accompanied by a group of excited teachers? If you want to know, you just have to keep reading. Aren’t you curious?

Keep reading.

When you add the great diversity of needs of students with high capacities and the low variety of proposals to help them, the perception of “distance” between the interests of students and their real life, and the lack of “adequate and flexible” environments that allow the development of basic skills for life, arises an answer that I want to present to you today: Laboratorio de Talentos.

The point is that as I mentioned in a post from last year, I was lucky enough to meet Garbiñe Telletxea, teacher of the Santa Luisa de Marilla School in Barañain, Navarra (Spain). I could almost say it was “love at first sight”, because as soon as she started her “inspiring” talk, not only did she inspire me, but she also got my attention right away.

The cocktail couldn’t have been better: education, talent, primary school children, entrepreneurship… you know, right where I belong. Besides, being part of Desafío+ has given me the great opportunity of not only knowing this project, but also of supporting it everywhere I could. That’s where we’re at. This post is just a small part I put in their backpack of success, because visibility is always very important.

Let me remind you what Mikel Alvira, president of Desafío+, told us in one of the last newsletters:

DESAFÍO MÁS is not only an initiative to organize meetings, webinars or presence in social media. Together with our inspiration days, we have developed a line of investigation, thinking and visibility of talent… where they have… LABORATORIO DE TALENTOS, an experience in talent development carried out by the Santa Luisa de Marillac School in Pamplona with the students of 5th and 6th grade. A team of teachers from this school, led by Garbiñe Telletxea, opens the doors to a new way of understanding education where each student sketches their “life project” and gets the necessary skills to develop their talent in a project that, designed by themselves, motivates them to learn.

In Laboratorio de Talentos they can choose their final product, considering their capacity, their interests and their style preferences.

It’s a project directed to:

  • Students from 5th and 6th grades in Primary School and 1st in Secondary School.
  • Teachers assigned to projects. Their job will be to participate in the sessions and monitor their assigned students.
  • Advisory teachers on specific affairs.
  • Educational community (mothers, fathers, former students and other people from the community) whose job will be to monitor and advise on projects.
  • Other people who have put together their talent and passion, and who can talk about their experience to the students.

Because the objectives of the Laboratorio de Talentos are clear:

  • creating learning experiences to develop each student’s potential through their center of interest and most relevant strengths
  • increasing the motivation and autonomy of the students taking part in the project
  • giving tools to the teachers that allow them to personalize the learning
  • offering the students and their families an evaluation based on their strengths
  • creating a collaborative space with the families and the community in general
  • training the teachers in enrichment activities
  • increasing teachers’ motivation to use new methodologies in the classrooms

It also is a different way of developing the following competences: language communication; mathematics, basic science and technology; digital; learning to learn; social and civic; and the sense of initiative and entrepreneurial spirit. Learning by doing in every way.

All of that in two weekly sessions where the students of 5th and 6th grade are making a project about a topic of their interest. “At the end” of the process, towards May, each student will present their work in an exhibition open to the community.

If you want to know more, you just have to contact them. Here you have their coordinates:

Thank you Garbiñe, Eva, María, Iñaki, Patricia and Maialen for being “guilty” of making a first-class project possible. I think you’ve won by your own merits the E.P. acronym. Congratulations.

Enjoy this new month.

Translated by María Ubierna Quintanilla and supervised by Arantza Arruti.

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