At Kopa – PIONIER!, we are committed to supporting the education of gifted children through various projects and partnerships.
Our PIONIER! teaching approach, which emphasizes inspiration and autonomy, aligns naturally with the associative thinking and creativity often exhibited by gifted learners. In this space, you can challenge them to shift gears and expand their horizons.
Giftedness is much more than just high IQ – it’s a way of being and thinking that permeates every aspect of a person’s life.
To learn more, explore the Zijnsluik by Kieboom or the Delphimodel by Kooijman – van Thiel for example. Or study the overexcitabilities and the Theory of Positive Disintegration described by K. Dabrowski.
In the classroom, you may notice certain characteristics that suggest giftedness, such as curiosity, complex and divergent thinking, rich associations, and rapid cognitive leaps. Perhaps you observe a strong memory leading to a preference for conceptual learning or a need for autonomy that inspires unique problem-solving approaches. Gifted learners may also exhibit a strong sense of justice, self-reflection, and heightened sensitivity. Let’s celebrate giftedness and embrace the unique perspectives and talents of all learners.
So how do the PIONIER! methodology and lessons cater to bright young minds?*
PIONIER! Art in School is an online program for students in grades 1 to 8. With over 200 lessons designed around themes and techniques such as textiles, identity, photography, light, media art, recycle art, drawing, building, and painting, the lessons follow a consistent structure but allow plenty of room for both the teacher and the learner to add their own twist. The most critical aspect of the program is its pedagogical sensitivity and the approach it takes to guiding students through the material. The name PIONIER! illustrates our teaching method. Not only does it represent someone who is curious and adventurous, eager to explore new territories, the letters also represent the attitude we promote for creative exploration: Process-oriented work, Inspiration, Open-ended questioning, Inquisitiveness, I also dare, Uniqueness, Room for interpretation, and High expectations!
Allowing for Uniqueness
Of course, we acknowledge that there is no one-size-fits-all gifted learner, we highlighted some characteristics before that are commonly found among such students. Let’s examine how PIONIER! lessons provide space for these traits.
Complex Thinking and Association
Each lesson starts with inspiring images from real artists. Not art that can be copied or studied to memorize names, movements, or dates, but works that can be explored with open curiosity. Students engage in a dialogue with the group: What do you see? How do you see it? What else can you discover? This discussion is as rich as the ideas the children bring. They have ample opportunity to make associations and philosophize. As they progress, they learn that not everyone sees things the same way, and that is okay.
Autonomous and Headstrong
Play within boundaries. A creative process that has direction but no predetermined outcome. In PIONIER! lessons, the student is the artist, and the artist chooses how the work will look. Here, stubbornness, which may be less helpful, such as when they invent their own calculation methods, is given room.
Creative and Driven
It’s fantastic to have a subject that teaches you to transform all those ideas into something tangible. A subject where you can give it your all, where you can learn how to deal with frustration and perseverance by doing and experimenting. That’s what PIONIER! provides. Creativity is more than creating something beautiful. It’s also about thinking outside the box, making connections, and seeing possibilities. For us, the essence of creativity is daring to try, being allowed to fail, and using that failure to generate new ideas. The experience of one’s creativity generates immense power that teaches you to think in possibilities and encourages you to shape your own life.
*PIONIER! Art in School is designed for ALL elementary school students. The lesson structure and the way they are guided can be tailored to the level and interest of your group, making it suitable for various groups. Would you like to give it a try? If you register, we will give you four free lessons (in Dutch). Let us know what you think!
Kopa is open to collaborating on developing new materials and projects. Don’t hesitate to contact us with a proposal or question.