How can a student recognize his talent

School: How talent scouts look for highly gifted people

When the seventh grader begins to dance, she seems to disappear into another world. Every step, every movement is perfect, the music carries it. The anger and the exertions at school are forgotten. All nervousness and insecurity fall away from her.

Actually, the 13-year-old is considered a problem child. One that can be difficult to concentrate or sit still for a long time. Now she owns the stage. When the music falls silent, it is clear to the teachers: The dance talent of the student must be encouraged.

The girl was discovered through a music project at her school. “That she has a talent for dancing surprised us all,” says Carolin Berendts. “She's really good.” Berendts is a so-called cultural agent. Your job is to support the arts education of the students.

Berendts was sent to three Berlin community schools via the model project “Cultural Agents for Creative Schools”. There she builds the bridge between school, art and culture. “Pupils, teachers or parents don't always know where talent can be and where not,” says Berendts. The cultural agent ensures that drama, music or visual arts do not just appear in the curriculum once a week, but become part of everyday school life.

Tomorrow's skilled workers

Berendts looks after around 3000 students. She can count the number of children who are gifted as artists on one hand. As in the case of the seventh grader, the projects bring the talent of these young people to light.

Together with the teachers and parents, the cultural agent then looks for facilities where artistic talent can also be promoted outside of school. “It could be the dance school in the neighborhood or the school band,” says Berendts. It is important that talents do not remain hidden.

Supporting special talents has long ceased to be a niche issue in Germany. The Federal Ministry of Education has its own center for talent development. Talent academies for politics or science are organized. Every year math cracks or linguistic geniuses can compete with like-minded people. The goal: to support talents and secure the skilled workers of tomorrow.

Stamped as problem children

Children and young people who register at the OKO Private School in Hamburg have already been certified that they have a special talent. Around 90 children are currently attending the private school. Mathematics, history, music or languages ​​- all OKO students are considered to be particularly clever and have an above-average IQ.

For most of them it was not made easy at a regular school. "They are often labeled as problem children," says managing director Gabriele Hartl. “The schools are set for mediocrity, but not for top or inferior performance.” Her experience shows that many children with special talents in certain subjects are marginalized or even bullied in regular school.