Germany – The Bavarian Centre for Gifted and Talented Children

The Bavarian Centre for Gifted and Talented Children (Begabungszentrum Bayern GbR) was founded in November 2008 and is located in Friesing, a small town close to Munich Airport.

The Founder and Director of the Centre is Roya Klingner. She is supported by an Advisory Board of six, drawn from Austria, England, Germany and the USA, two psychologists and an intern.

The Centre operates in the belief that ‘every child is gifted and some are particularly gifted. We all want to help children to discover their talents and to develop’. Its vision is to ‘hand over our experiences and knowledge to the next generation of gifted children and guide them on their way to develop their special talents’.

It offers a range of services:

  • Identification and testing, using intelligence tests and a diagnostic interview
  • Advice, counselling and coaching. The Centre is the only one of its kind in Bavaria offering coaching and counselling to children, their parents and educators. Unusually, this is available face-to-face and online in several different languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, Farsi, German, Italian, Romanian, Russian and Turkish. The Centre maintains an online forum. There is a regular monthly event for parents (KLUG) as well as German language courses for parents who are non-native speakers.
  • Therapy. The Centre specialises in Solution-Oriented Therapy which helps people to overcome problems by focusing on the solution rather than the underlying cause. It also offers courses in learning, self-organisation and relaxation techniques, as well as ‘online therapy’.
  •  A series of teacher education workshops provided by Roya Klingner and Monita Leavitt, who is one of the Advisory Board members. Five standard workshops are offered: coaching gifted children and young people; solution-oriented therapy; intelligence and intelligence testing; handling cultural differences in gifted education; and gifted visual-spatial learners. There is also a seven-module course for aspiring coaches and the Centre also offers tailored professional development.
  • A variety of events and activities for gifted learners, covering topics such as speaking English and Chinese, Farsi language and Persian culture, research skills, philosophy, mindmapping, creative writing and the theatre.

The Centre organises monthly gifted education presentations in Second Life and is developing ‘The World of Begabungs’ – a virtual learning experience for gifted young people aged 12-16 using OpenSim.

There are regular face-to-face conferences – previous events have been held in Friesing, Rosenheim and, most recently, Deggendorf and the Centre has international links with the Iranian Center for Gifted and Talented Children (also established by Roya Klingner – website under construction) and the Lithuanian Educational Centre of Gifted Youth.

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