15 August 2021

As part of its “Strategic Trends Series” No. (7), TRENDS Research and Advisory has issued a new study in English titled “The Challenges of Developing an Inclusive Curriculum for Gifted Students in the UAE”, written by His Excellency Maqsoud Kruse, Strategic Communications Advisor at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs.

His Excellency Maqsoud Kruse said that this analytical study is a modest contribution to the continuous research efforts focusing on nurturing and developing talented students in the UAE. It aims to underline the importance of continuous development of tools and methods to discover giftedness, programs for nurturing talented students, and systematic research on cultivating them, he added.

He stressed that the talented are the real wealth of the country, and should be discovered and nurtured and their skills be developed from early age in accordance with clear methods. All this will help in preparing and equipping them with the right tools and skills for a brighter future.

His Excellency explained that the study tackles several topics, the foremost of which are the discovery and education of talented students, inclusive curricula and development, and designing of study programs and methods of innovation. The study concludes with important findings and recommendations for creating a talented generation capable of making the future.

The study shows that the UAE has taken several national initiatives for developing giftedness in the UAE, and that the key challenge is to set up a rigorous, structured and coherent gifted education policy. It explains that the UAE has witnessed a growing interest in giftedness that has generated streams of academic research, examining the opportunities and challenges. However, despite the increasing interest in giftedness within the educational sector and among educational researchers, there are no agreed-upon unified definitions of giftedness or standardized identification system of giftedness.

The study argues that it is essential for academic institution in the UAE to develop mechanisms for teaching and fostering gifted students by creating wider specialized education programs and building professional development programs and certification opportunities to fill the professional gap in licensure, qualifications, certifications, and employability. It adds that gifted education is very recent and limited in terms of its existing academic programs or professional applications.

It emphasizes the need for academic programs alongside more training centers and professional associations to foster research and education across the country. There is also an urgent need for careful monitoring of the status of giftedness and gifted education and for constructive evaluation of the current initiatives and programs that would contribute enormously to the advancement of gifted learners.

The study says that cultivation of talent is an integrated participatory process. Everyone should take part in discovering and fostering talented students in early age, and in providing the training and monitoring tools according to specialized, well-advised plans involving the Ministry of Education, training centers, associations for gifted children, and all concerned parties. It also emphasizes the need for making solution-based initiatives and generating creative ideas for the future of gifted education in the UAE.

About the author

Maqsoud Kruse is an international writer, public speaker, and a regular guest on a variety of media outlets and publications, CNN, German Phoenix TV, Abu Dhabi TV, Al Hurra TV, Australian SBS Radio, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The National. He has broad and interdisciplinary interests, including Organizational Psychology and Psychometrics; Giftedness Research; Strategic and Future Sciences; Strategic Communication and Political Propaganda Studies; Tolerance, Extremism and Terrorism studies; Political Islam Studies; and Contemporary Arab Thought Studies.

He has served as the former Executive Director of Hedayah, The International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism. Prior to joining Hedayah, he served as the Head of Planning Section and later as the Psychological Affairs Advisor at the Global Aerospace Logistics (GAL), a subsidiary of the Emirates Advanced Investments Group (EAIG). He also served in the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, working in various Applied Psychology, Strategic Planning, and Leadership Development settings. Kruse received his Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from the University of Melbourne in Australia.