Arany János Program for Developing Talents
of Socially Disadvantaged Students
This program started in 2000 in order to minimalize social disadvantages of the Hungarian society and help talented but socially disadvantaged students aged 14-18 to get into higher education.
From September 2004 already 3000 students belong to this nationwide program. From each county one or two secondary schools together with dormitories have joined the program and now we have 39 institutions.
Professionals in the field of talent developing and education have managed the program, and it is based on the latest psychological and pedagogical ideas but the management also uses the experiences and self-developing work of the participating institutions.
We believe that the whole country is responsible for finding and saving talents so we use a wide range of recommendations in order to select whom to admit into the program. Also students have to pass a talent identification tests put together by psychologists. Before admitting them into the program the children together with their parents spend two days in the chosen institutions.
The main goals of the program are giving equal opportunities based on the education system and financial support, talent developing, and the modernization of the current education program.
The Arany Program means 5-year long talent developing and its main goal is to prepare the students for higher education. During these years besides the schools the dormitories are also responsible for the education. In the first – preparatory – year of this program we help students to catch on and also they can take part in lots of enrichment classes since one of the greatest problem is that although these students are talented the infrastructure of the place where they usually come from did not help them. Many of them come from families where education is not valued at all.
There are several subjects, which are taught not only in the school but in the dormitory as well. The students have special subjects, which were developed with the help of the Debrecen University and other experts of the field. For example students “study” self-development, communication, learning strategies. We put a great emphasis on using and developing their emotional intelligence. .
There are two main conditions to help the realization of the goals of this program. One of them is the continuous and cooperative psychological and pedagogical measurement of the Debrecen University and the Pedagogical Institution. With the help of these measurements individual developing plans are created for the schools and the students and the teachers are taught how to use them.
The second main condition is an organized structure of different teacher training courses. We organize different courses to teach how to identify talents, how to deal with talented students, how to teach the special Arany subjects, we organize courses in the field of dormitory-pedagogy, teaching methodology. All these together gradually help schools to deal with talents and to renew the teaching methods they use.
Written by Csilla Fuszek