National Policies and Strategies for the Support of the Gifted and Talented in Austria

  • Claudia Resch
Keywords: Austria, gifted education, holistic, systemic, talent support


The approach to the support of gifted and talented children and youth has changed considerably in the past twenty years. While, until the 2000s, provision programmes predominantly focused on extracurricular activities for pupils, gifted education now follows a systemic and inclusive approach, including all (educational) institutions – kindergarten, school, college and university – as well as the family, the economy, the working world and the community. Furthermore, there have been considerable efforts to provide for gifted children within the regular classroom by way of differentiation and individualised learning. This new approach to talent support was first outlined in 2011 in the “White Paper Promoting Talent and Excellence”, which the Austrian Research and Support Centre for the Gifted and Talented published in cooperation with the interministerial Giftedness Research and Gifted Education Task Force. The present article outlines the reasons that led to this new strategy, explains its main features and attempts an analysis of its strengths and weaknesses.


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