Dual Exceptional Students – Eleonoor van Gerven



Challenging Education Conference Speaker Biography

Drs. Eleonoor Van Gerven studied the history and philosophy of education (educational sciences) at Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands). She is the managing director of Slim! Educatief, a Dutch private teacher education institute at postgraduate level. Eleonoor van Gerven specialises in teacher education courses in the field of educating able learners in an inclusive environment. She has published (in Dutch) more than 15 books about educating able learners. She has developed a digital toolkit for teachers, supporting them in the provision of education for able learners, based on the concept of RtI. Over 30% of Dutch schools are currently registered users of this toolkit. Eleonoor van Gerven has over 25 years of experience in teacher education. During these 25 years more than 4000 teachers have joined her courses and masterclasses. Graduates from her programmes are leaders in gifted education in The Netherlands. Eleonoor van Gerven has won a Mensa-award for a lifelong contribution to education in The Netherlands.
The teacher education courses of Slim! Educatief are all accredited by the Dutch Teachers Register (Registerleraar.nl). The advanced education courses at post-master level “Specialist in Gifted Education” (one-year course) and “Specialist in Dual and Multiple Exceptionality” (two-year course) are also accredited and registered by the Dutch Society for Higher Education (Stichting Post-HBO Nederland).

Keynote Session outline:

wice-exceptional (or dual exceptional) children are children with a high IQ combined with a learning or developmental disability. In education, these children feel themselves confronted with two seemingly discordant sides of themselves. On the one hand, they experience the opportunities their IQ opens up for them in the domains not affected by the disability. On the other hand, in the domains affected by the disability these children experience significant limitations. These limitations prevent them from learning at the same pace and at the same achievement levels as in the domains that are not affected. Consequently, four domains of risk and resiliency show strengths and weaknesses influencing the child’s opportunity for self-actualisation. Learning becomes unexpectedly difficult for these students. The intrapersonal discrepancy leaves them confused and frustrated. The clash between ability and disability is a harsh one as the use of compensation strategies wears them out.
Each twice-exceptional child has an individual educational profile, but there is one thing that they all share: the development of their executive skills is under duress. Children with ADHD or ASD have problems developing these skills because of the neurological deficits that come along with the disability. How to become organised if you have trouble taking on a helicopter view and drown in details by nature. How to stay on track with your tasks if you capability to focus is limited, or the need to move is bigger than the ability to suppress dominant responses? Children with dyslexia or dyscalculia might develop problems with executive skills due to the educational consequences of the learning disability. How to initiate working on a task if you have a low self-efficacy based on previous experiences? How to regulate your emotions when you fail time after time?
In current education, the development of 21st Century skills is a hot topic. Based on the traits of highly able children this can be a very effective educational strategy. However, based on the traits of having a learning or developmental disability, this can be the most frustrating experience in education ever because 21st Century skills call on all their weaknesses.
In this workshop, we explore how twice-exceptional children get stuck in this didactical approach. Together we figure out what interventions might come in helpful and are easy to apply. You will discover how your current professional intervention repertoire can be used slightly differently for these particular students and in a way that benefits all your students as well.

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