Dr. Sheyla Blumen
Future Minds, the Associate European Talent Centre in Peru, aims to support highly able and talented children and youths to reach their academic, emotional, and social potential. Future Minds programs provide challenges based on ability and interest, involving respect of the ethnic-linguistic origin and cultural diversity of each children and youth. Future Minds was established at Lima City in 1998 to meet the needs of high ability students between the ages of 6 to 17 years from Peru and the South American region. Since the first year, around 7,000 students have attended or participated in programmes run by the Future Minds Foundation, and more than 1000 teachers have been trained.
The current status of the Future Minds Talent Centre is presented, and the best practices in gifted education will be discussed in relation to: (a) Advocacy strategies toward gifted children; (b) Collaboration with senior officials of the Peruvian Administration to advocate for the educational needs of the gifted; (c) Scientific support on the design of public policies for gifted education, and the launching of the First National Academy for the Academically Talented in Peru; (d) Organization of international scientific meetings; (e) Gifted education programs; (f) Research and training for international students; and (g) Teacher training programs for the gifted. The impact of international collaboration will also be addressed, as well as the impact of the state-funded boarding academies for high achievers, which constitutes an example of a promising attempt with results that will be worth monitoring in the near future. The challenges of Future Minds will be presented, taking into consideration the needs of a multicultural society.
Young scholars, high achievement, talent development, indigenous gifted, Peru
About the speaker
Sheyla Blumen is a Professor of Psychology and the Editor-in-Chief of the Peruvian scholarly psychology journal Revista de Psicologia (PUCP), which is indexed in Scopus, WOS, and PsycINFO, among others.
She is a Board member of the International Association of Applied Psychology, as well as the School of Graduate Studies and the School of Psychology at the PUCP. As founder of the Inter-Disciplinary Research Group CREA TALENTUM, she collaborates with international colleagues in the adaptation of psychometric measures related to creativity and high ability studies. As CEO of the Mente Futura Foundation, she promotes talent development towards excellence in ethnic-linguistic diverse and multicultural young scholars. She was instrumental in launching the Peruvian Law supporting high achievers, and in the development of the state-funded Academies of Arts and Sciences, which serve high achievers from low socio-economic backgrounds and ethnic-linguistic minorities in the Andean and Amazon regions. Actually 25 Academies nationwide benefit 8,000 high achieving students living below the poverty line. She was recognized with the Innovation Award in College Teaching (2015), the PUCP Research Award in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, and received recognitions on Scientific Publishing (2008), Educational Psychology (2010), and Life-career in teaching and research in Educational Psychology (2014). Internationally, she received the World Bank/GDN Award for Young Scientist in Applied Education (2005), the Belin-Blank/Templeton International Fellowship on Gifted Education (2008), and the Eisenhower Fellowships (EF 2011).
Dr. Blumen is the Chair of the 35th Inter-American Conference of Psychology. She is invited keynote at international conferences, and has been invited Professor at PUC Campinas, Universidade de Brasilia, Universidade Catolica de Brasilia, Universidad Católica de Chile, Universidad de La Frontera-Chile, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, and Harvard University/School of Education. She has published 135 books, chapters, and articles in the fields of talent development, cognitive processes, and educational psychology, and has participated in 36 research projects.
About the center
The Mente Futura Foundation aims to support highly able and talented children and youths to reach their academic, emotional, and social potential by providing challenges based on their ability and interests while respecting their ethnic-linguistic origin and cultural diversity. The Mente Futura Foundation was established in Lima City in 1998 to meet the needs of high ability students aged 6 to 17 years from Peru and the South American region. Since the first year, around 7,000 students have attended or participated in programmes run by the Mente Futura Foundation, and more than 1,000 teachers have been trained.
The general activities of the Mente Futura Foundation involve:
(a) Advocacy for gifted children and youth living in disadvantage conditions in Peru. This involves meetings with Senior Peruvian Administration Officers. On September 9, 2009 the Norm N° 034-2009 establishing the creation of the first National Academy for the Academically Talented was given (http://www.colegiomayor.edu.pe/), and began operation in March 2010, serving 800 students per year. By 2016, 22 Peruvian National Academies for the Academically Talented Youths (9th-11th) were built nationwide. We have published a book for parents and teachers, a technical document for the Ministry of Education, and several readers for teacher training purposes, as well as scientific papers on SCOPUS journals;
(b) Research to provide theoretical foundations for the development of Peruvian public policies for the highly able. In this sense, we have participated in several studies with diverse developmental stage (preschoolers, primary and secondary school children and youths, as well as with college students, teachers, administrators, and parents), as well as from diverse ethnic-linguistic backgrounds in Peru. We also join cross-cultural studies around the world.
(c) Organization and execution of scientific meetings to provide information on the state-of-the-art on High Ability Studies, and to discuss proper policies for gifted education in Peru.
(d) Provisions for talent development, developing workshops, programs to be applied inside the regular classroom, and after-school programs. These cover language arts, mathematics, science, and technology, as well as the arts and music. We also provide individual and group assessment for identification purposes and training tailor-fitted programs for schools, NGOs, regional governments, and for the Ministry of Education. We have an ongoing counselling service for individuals and groups, depending on the needs of each group. We are working on a study about employability for college students entering the labor force in partnership with Midot Intl. and other Peruvian Foundations. We have served around 7,000 highly able children and youths, and trained around 1,500 teachers.
Our activities involved:
(a) The organization of the Ibero-American Group of Interest in Creativity, Technology, and Talent Development, involving Argentina, Brazil, Colombian, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and Uruguay, held at the PUCP in July 2015 and 2017.
(b) Ongoing presentations with senior members of the Peruvian administration to study the impact of public policies and ongoing gifted programs in Peru (2015-2018).
(c) Collaboration with international networks, such as IRATDE, and the Brasil-Peru research network.
(d) Presentations on the emotional and pedagogical needs of the highly able were given all around Peru, particularly focusing on senior members of the different Peruvian regional administrations (2016-2018).
(e) March 2016: The new Peruvian public policy on Special Education is only focused on the “high achievers or academically talented,” and does not include the “highly able” as a whole nor the possibility of multi-exceptionalities, particularly those related to the gifted. They even established a public policy with this orientation, and no consideration toward the highly able or gifted child was established. Therefore, a strong campaign on advocacy for the multi-exceptional child and youth was started among senior officers and lawyers of the Ministry of Education.
(f) April 2016: The new Direction of Special Education in Peru wanted to close the after-school enrichment program called PAENFTS, because of a lack of understanding about the need for enrichment programs toward the gifted.
(g) September 2018: Advocacy is needed in order to keep the grants for the academically talented young scholars attending college education, since foundations are more focused on numbers than people. Therefore, meetings with senior officers are taking place in order to advocate for the continuing of the program. Waiting for senior members of the foundation reaction.
Associated European Talent Centre data
Phone: +51 14212410
Postal address: Los Laureles 265, A-101, San Isidro, Lima 27, PERU, South America
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