Hector Research Institute of Education Sciences and Psychology

Talent Development in Secondary Education - Scientific Monitoring of the Hector Seminar

The Hector Seminar offers a voluntary and supplementary support programme for gifted secondary school students in the North Baden region. The focus of the support is on an in-depth offer in the STEM area, starting in grade 6 up to the upper school level.

Since the 2022/2023 school year, the Hector Research Institute of Education Sciences and Psychology has been providing scientific support for the Hector Seminar and conducting a longitudinal evaluation of the programme.

The scientific support is commissioned by the Hector Foundation II and is initially scheduled to run for four years. The results are presented to the advisory board at least once a year.

At one glance

Aims of the study

The aim of the longitudinal study is to examine talent development in secondary school and, in this context, to look at support effects and success factors of continuous enrichment.

How do gifted pupils generally develop in secondary school, what are positive development factors and how much do gifted pupils in the natural sciences benefit from participation in the Hector Seminar?

In addition to the question of subject-related competence gain, it is also of interest to what extent attendance at the Hector Seminar promotes the formation of socio-emotional competences as well as the creativity of gifted pupils.

Procedure of the study

Pupils who are judged by their teachers to be particularly gifted are invited to a central selection test for the Hector Seminar, which is held at the beginning of the 6th school year. Of the approximately 800 pupils who take part in the selection test each year, the best ten per cent, i.e. 80 pupils per school year, are admitted to the Hector Seminar.

In order to make statements about the general development of gifted pupils and about the effectiveness of the Hector Seminar, the aim is to include all 800 pupils in the sample each year.

The design of the study is to repeat the entrance test every two years. A shorter test, which can be taken online, will take place annually. Also annually, online questionnaires will be completed by the students and parents. A one-time additional online questionnaire takes place in January of the first year of study participation (see Graph 1).