Talent development and personal growth exist as two contrasting ideologies of the education of the gifted. One is product-centered, the other is child-centered. Talent development stresses high achievement, accomplishing highly acclaimed works that win awards. We thus face a dilemma about how to nurture talent: to sacrifice the self in order to reach the highest level of achievement or to support personal growth as the bedrock on which high achievement can be built. The solution lies in the understanding that supporting personal growth support the development of the individual’s talents. How this can be done will be presented by looking at the elements of personal growth and techniques for strengthening them.
Michael M. Piechowski, Ph.D., received his M.Sc. from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, his hometown in Poland. He collaborated with Dabrowski for eight years on the positive desintegration theory, living with intensity and overexcitabilities. Piechowski taught at the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, and Northland College. He is a Senior Fellow of both the Institute for Educational Advancement and Yunasa Summer Camp for Highly Gifted Youth.