IIM-A, US university join hands in talent search

May 27th, 2008 - 6:35 pm ICT by admin  

Ahmedabad, May 27 (IANS) The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), and the Duke University of the US have come together for a talent search programme focusing on school children. The Duke University’s Talent Identification Programme (Duke TIP) “is to find the most talented students in the world and bring their talents to fruition,” Provost Peter Lange, who is senior academic officer in charge of the programme, said at the IIM-A campus Monday.

The full-time, residential course for the Class 8 students from 13 schools in four cities of the country began May 18 and will continue till June 7.

The tie-up between IIM-A and the Duke University TIP is for providing academic inputs and logistical support to the children.

Nine instructors and faculty from Duke TIP are teaching two courses through a unique learning environment designed to motivate the academically talented students at the campus.

Students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, are being exposed to college- level education.

Addressing the young and eager students, Lange said: “You are the pioneers. You are breaking new territories. By teaching you, we too learn to teach more students like you.”

Lange said: “Our aim is reaching out to the talent and teach them. Increasingly, talent is spread far and wide around the world. It is not enough to be a magnet in attracting talent. We have to radiate out and go where talent is. What we do in the US we need to do in the rest of the world. A university that fails to do that would be irrelevant.”

Martha Putallaz, professor of psychology at Duke, said that TIP is a national leader in identifying academically talented students worldwide and providing innovative programmes to support the development of their optimal educational potential. Last summer more than 2,300 students from 40 states and 14 foreign countries attended Duke TIP summer programmes, she said.

“In the three-week course students cover enormous materials and over the years since we began in 1980 over 1.8 million talented youth have benefited,” said Brian Cooper, director, educational resources.

“The notable feature of our course,” said Cooper, “is that it is ungraded and encourages the student to intellectual risk-taking.”

The students attend the class seven hours on weekdays and three hours on Saturdays with 15-minute break in the morning and afternoon. “Students are now asking us to conduct classes on Sundays too.”

The Duke TIP is non-profit and self-sustaining with its financial aid coming from programme fees, endowments and gifts and third party funding, Cooper said.

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