Message from Founder
Gifted education, also known as gifted and talented education (GATE), is a specialised form of education that has evolved to meet the needs of children identified as possessing abilities at an uncommonly high level. Giftedness has a wide variety of definitions, including, but not limited to, possessing a high IQ, as measured by internationally accepted tests, such as the Wechsler, and Stanford-Binet, IQ Tests.
The circumstances of the development of gifted education in Hong Kong during the last thirty years are quite different from those elsewhere around the world. The USA, Canada, and Europe each hold annual conferences concerning gifted education, and in Singapore and Taiwan, gifted education programmes were piloted directly by the Education Ministry. The growth of the sector in Hong Kong, by contrast, was driven largely by a group of passionate parents of gifted children, and a group of equally passionate local educators.
The good news is that more and more students are being certified as gifted, with a concomitant rise in awareness of the sector across all streams of education in Hong Kong. The Fung Hon Chu Gifted Education Centre in the past, and the HKAGE at present, have certainly played a role to promote GATE. However, within the growing number of young people recognised each year as gifted, a group of unattended students has started to emerge. Some of them feel frustrated at not being able to realise their full potential, which can lead to their academic performance being below the level of normal students. Others are diagnosed as having other special needs, such as ADHD, autism, and dyslexia, and, even in cases in which these diagnoses are correct, can end up pigeonholed within these categories at the cost of developing their real talents.
Gifted students are with few exceptions very demanding students who constantly look for stimulation and challenges. Apart from enhancing their knowledge base, greater attention should in fact be paid to developing their soft skills, such as critical thinking, and the forms of interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence manifest as social skills, and the effective management of personal feeling. Constant counseling and intellectual stimulation should be made available to them throughout their early maturity.
With Hong Kong’s limited set of resources – such as its relative scarcity of high-powered intellectuals willing to work as educators and mentors, its few chances for gifted students to gather and share their day-to-day experiences, as is common in Singapore, and its restricted opportunities for international exchange – our city yet remains an environment full of challenges that stand in the way of ARISTLE being able to do a perfect job – but it is yet our dedicated mission to pursue that as our ultimate goal. There is no “mission impossible” in ARISTLE!
“Never let your head hang down till the last minute. if you tried, and if you failed, no matter! Try again, fail again, and fail better!”
Ms. Vivian Wu