I would like to thank Roya Klingner from the Global Center for Gifted Education for inviting me to blog as a part of Gifted Education Awareness Week in Namibia.
For detailed description of the aims, program of events during the week and the bloggers that are participating see The Global Center for Gifted and Talented Children page at
Namibia – Cheetahs – Gifted Students
What are the connections between these?
Namibia – Cheetahs
Namibia is home to the world’s largest cheetah population and also home to the
Cheetah Conservation Foundation http://www.cheetah.org/
From the CCF Education Programs page
“In central Namibia, CCF operates a Field Research and Education Centre to conduct formal and informal education programs. The Centre is open to the public daily, as well as on-site public education and student training to Namibians and foreign university students. At a national level, the objective of CCF’s Research and Education Centre is to teach young Namibians the value of sustainable practices in environment and conservation from an early age. The Centre allows students to be exposed to CCF’s integrated research programs on the cheetah’s ecology, habitat and prey base, and the demonstration of CCF’s non-lethal livestock/predator management techniques. Relevant issues are presented regarding factors that affect conservation efforts at the community level. The Fund’s education program and cheetah museum displays are designed around CCF scientific research findings and provide detailed information about the cheetah; its history, physiology, importance within the ecosystem, conflict with humans, and what CCF is doing to ensure the species’ survival for future generations. The CCF Education Team present two-day environmental courses for school groups with overnight accommodation provided at the CCF educational campsites. All participants are exposed to CCF’s research and conservation efforts via presentations, and to the Namibian farmland ecosystem through the museum, nature trail and game drives. Team-building activities are designed to highlight the importance of team efforts in conservation. Role-play and drama are also included in the programmes and include scenarios of livestock and predator management. Since 2000, over 16,000 students have participated in these courses. In addition to school groups, regional youth groups, youth officials, teachers, health officials and farmers, participate in specially designed programs at CCF’s Center. You can visit CCF Namibia’s Education Centre and take a virtual tour of the displays there.”
In order to ensure the continued survival of the cheetah it is necessary change attitudes toward the cheetah, to educate, problem solve and develop partnerships.
Cheetahs – Gifted Students
The logo for Gifted Resources http://www.giftedresources.org/ is a cheetah head in a circle.
Many other organizations (several of them related to giftedness) also use the cheetah as a logo.
(The connection between using the cheetah as a logo and contributing toward cheetah conservation is a possible topic for a future blog post)
Gifted Resources logo was chosen because the cheetah provides a very apt analogy for a gifted person.
The cheetah metaphor for giftedness is based on the brilliant article “Is it a cheetah?” by Stephanie Tolan http://www.stephanietolan.com/is_it_a_cheetah.htm
Stephanie Tolan’s article emphasizes that, just as cheetahs are designed to chase down fast running prey and need a suitable environment in which to thrive, so gifted students are designed to learn at a greater speed and depth and need to be presented with material at a suitable level of challenge in order to thrive academically.
Gifted Students – Namibia
In order to thrive gifted and talented students need to be given an environment of understanding of their needs and opportunities for learning at the pace and level of their capabilities.Gifted Education Awareness Week aids in building this understanding in Namibia
“This week it’s the start of a new “adventure”, with regards to discovering talents in Namibia” says Silvia van Biljon