My blogs about Gifted Education

Archiv für Oktober, 2011

A trip to the country of 1001 nights, IRAN

About IRAN:

Iran (Listeni/ɪˈrɑːn/;[8] Persian: ایران [ʔiˈɾɒn] ( listen)), officially the Islamic Republic of Iran (Persian:جمهوری اسلامی ایران Jomhuri-ye Eslāmi-ye Irān), is a country in Southern and Western Asia.[9][10] The name „Iran“ has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia (play /ˈpɜrʒə/ or /ˈpɜrʃə/).[8][11]Both „Persia“ and „Iran“ are used interchangeably in cultural contexts; however, „Iran“ is the name used officially in political contexts.[12][13]

The 18th largest country in the world in terms of area at 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), Iran has a population of around 78 million.[14] It is a country of particular geopolitical significance owing to its location in the Middle East and central Eurasia. Iran is bordered on the north by ArmeniaAzerbaijanand Turkmenistan. As Iran is a littoral state of the Caspian Sea, which is an inland sea, Kazakhstanand Russia are also Iran’s direct neighbors to the north. Iran is bordered on the east by Afghanistanand Pakistan, on the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, on the west by Iraq and on the northwest by TurkeyTehran is the capital, the country’s largest city and the political, cultural, commercial and industrial center of the nation. Iran is a regional power,[15][16] and holds an important position in international energy security and world economy as a result of its large reserves ofpetroleum and natural gas.

Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations.[17] The first dynasty in Iran formed during theElamite kingdom in 2800 BC. The Iranian Medes unified Iran into an empire in 625 BC.[1] They were succeeded by the Iranian Achaemenid Empire, the Hellenic Seleucid Empire and two subsequent Iranian empires, the Parthians and the Sassanids, before the Muslim conquest in 651 AD. Iranian post-Islamic dynasties and empires expanded the Persian language and culture throughout the Iranian plateau. Early Iranian dynasties which re-asserted Iranian independence included the Tahirids,SaffaridsSamanids and Buyids.


بنى آدم اعضای يک پیکرند
که در آفرينش ز يک گوهرند
چو عضوى به درد آورد روزگار
دگر عضوها را نماند قرارOf one Essence is the human race
thus has Creation put the base
One Limb impacted is sufficient
For all Others to feel the Mace

Saadi (1184–1283)

Gifted Education in Iran 

The National Organization for Development of Exceptional Talents (NODET), also known as SAMPAD (سمپاد), maintains Middle and High Schools in Iran. These schools were shut down for a few years after the revolution, but later re-opened. Admittance is based on an entrance examination, and is very competitive, especially in Tehran.Their tuition is similar to private schools, but may be partially or fully waived off depending on the students financial condition. Some nodet alumni are world leading scientists.

Our logo was this,

and now

Dr. Iraj Broomand, the first president of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, my principal and a great friend now answered my questions about SAMPAD. Here is my interview with him:

My questions, which I asked Dr. Iraj Broomand:
1. When did you start this project, SAMPAD?
2. Which goal did you follow?
3. How did you identify children? Which tests did you use?
4. How many children did you testet for elementary, secondary,…? How many did you accept for elementary, secondary?
5. What was the most important characteristic to select teachers, educators for team?
6. How could you test or notice in a child about the potential of a future leader, creativity and talent?
7. Prof. Joe Renzulli told me that he visited our school in Iran? How was it?
8. What led you to work for gifted children? Your interest, your inspiration, your passion?
9. Did you give up to support gifted children after Iranian revolution?
10. What do you think about gifted education? What did change? What is necessary to note?

Here is the answer of my questions!

Dear Roya: Thank you for the questions. I shall try to summarize  a huge amount of information as best as I can.
SAMPAD or Niogate.( Nataional Iranian Organization for Gifted and Talented  Education). The reason for explaining this is tomake sure thatwe had 5 schools establised the first year of operation in Tehran, Kerman and Mash-had. I will try to be as succinct and brief as possible and leave the details for the book I am writing.
Now the answers to your questionsthough they may address tow or three questions at a tim.
Let’s start.
1-The Project was started with an order from the Shah conveyed to me by the Primeminister Hoveyda in the last week of December 1995 that was immediately 
followe by a conference in January of 1996 with the participatin of  nine International 
experts and 25 Iranian professors and scholars.
2- The ultimate objective was „To identify  and educate as many gifted individuals on a sliding gradation, Starting with 5th graders and moving towards post gradute gifted individuals, throughut the contry, in order to produce  a future generation of, yong, intelligent dynamic and creatively independent leaders, in all areas of endeavour  the country, without heavy  dependence on foriegn experts. Obviously many other objectives had to be addressed  if the program was to be a comprehensive one( i.e vast array of specilizationswhich would augment the scientific growth and cultural advancement.
This was an awesome responsibility which could alter the status of social, political, economic and industrial  of the nation’s advancement and hasten the pace and process of Democratization.
One other significant goal was to identify talents  in specific areas and to have expert s in administration and implementation of projects. That in itself was a lofty goalthe could be systematically carried out by our experts in training.
3- The question of screening and identification requies several books to explain the selection and development of test instruments and questionnaires which were done by a number of highly experienced quantitative psychologigst. In short, however, we designed a 16 step or „phase“ which were applied to over 500000 (fivehundred thousand) fifth grade stents in Tehran, Kerman and Mash-had. Of this pool we eventually selected approximately 500, or roughly 0.1%,whit whom to begin our program. We knew that this was a very stringent method which left a lot of qualified studnts out but we wanted to start with a group that we could provide the best, given our limited human resources.
4- Please see # 3-
5-We hired higly advanced university graduates in various field  and  provided them with the most intensive Teacher Training Program, by several groups of invited gifted educaters from  many of our universities as well as wellknown teacher trainers from several different countries. The people we invited for teaching had to have distinguished themselves in each field of studieswit very little or no teaching experience at all. There was ofcourse a reason for that, since we were going totrain them as „teachers of the gifted“.  Beside these cosiderations  we emphasized flexibilty and tolerance for frustration, sense of humor and a keen desire to learn.
6- Obviously the had to be screening to begin with and then testing. We started with a cluster of Teacher rcommendation as well as peer recommendation,grades and academic performanceAnd ended up with severl intelligence, apptitude, interest tests some of which were patterned  after existing test and standardized on Iranian student population. This segment requires far more detail than can be offered in this short synopsis. How ever for our very young preschoolers and kindergartners we had the help o parent who answered a specic questionaire, with extensive follow up behavioral observations anda version of WPPSI.
7-Joe Renzulli was among several highly respecte experts and theoriticiansand practitiners who spent sevral months in Iran and made sbstantial contribution to our teacher training program.
8-  As far as my interest in gifted was concerned, it was a long time dream of mine  to effectively serve my country and this was the most exciting opportunity to realiz a dream which required more than just one person to do it. You can read more about it when my book comes out.
9- NO NEVER. After the revolution I continued my involvemen by teaching lecturing adtrying to make other contributions including openining a schoo in California, called Intergate. Unfortunately lack of resources forced me to sell the school . It didn’t work out well.
As far asgiving up no. I have been fortunate enough to help many gifted indivuals realizing their potentional by whatever means I have had at my disposal.
10- When I think about gifted education is that it is incumbant up on us to teach  our societies that human civilization, up to this point, did not just come about by a happenstance.It has taken countless gifted people to fabricate it.
Good luck to you. I am proud of you and your efforts in that direction. Dr. Broomand
(Dr. Iraj Broomand is a great person, who changed my life. He motivated me to help and support gifted and talented children and follow his way. I am so proud of him and so happy to know him.
Being Gifted in Iran is something special but I believe that the system of education is like many other countires only interested on performance  and not individual support of emotional needs. ~Roya Klingner)