Prof. Dr. Kobus Maree
University of Pretoria
Faculty of Education
Keynote Title: “Facilitating autobiographicity to promote gifted and talented learners’ self-designing and career construction” & “Connecting conscious knowledge with subconscious insights”
Abstract: An exponential increase in the rate of change forces people to deal with repeated transitions at all levels of their existence. These transitions are often difficult to handle and give rise to feelings of vulnerability and concern. Events such as the recent economic meltdown, major changes in the global economy, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in particular, have given rise to downsizing, retrenchments, rising unemployment, as well as insecurity and uncertainty at all levels – prompting spiralling unemployment rates globally.
The developments delineated above call for a strong response from theoreticians, researchers, practitioners, and policy makers. This paper explicates the theory and conceptual framework underlying an innovative, integrative (qualitative+quantitative) approach to (career) counselling for gifted and talented learners. This approach aims to help gifted learners connect what they know about themselves consciously with what they are aware about themselves subconsciously.
The paper explains that, globally, millions of gifted and talented learners have never been given a fair chance in life to design themselves and choose and construct their careers meaningfully. These learners (from across the diversity spectrum) may have made substantial contributions to humankind. The world may have lost the likes of a Mother Teresa, a Mark Savickas, an Albert Einstein, a Sigmund Freud, a Nelson Mandela, a Kofi Annan, or so many other luminaries. Lastly, this paper shows how learners’ ‘stories’ (information obtained from qualitative approaches) can be blended with their (test) ‘scores’ (information obtained from quantitative approaches (test ‘scores’)). Achieving this aim can help (career) counsellors identify giftedness and talent and help learners experience or rekindle a sense of meaning, hope, and purpose in their lives and contribute to positive transformation and societal advancement globally.
Bio: Prof. Kobus Maree (DEd (Career Counselling); PhD (Learning Facilitation in Mathematics); DPhil (Psychology)) is a full Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Pretoria. His main research interests are career construction (counselling), life design (counselling), emotional‐social intelligence and social responsibility, and learning facilitation in mathematics. He links research results to appropriate career choices and to life designing.
Past editor of a number of scholarly journals, for instance, the South African Journal of Psychology, managing editor of Gifted Education International, regional editor for Southern Africa: Early Child Development and Care, and a member of several national and international bodies, including the Society for Vocational Psychology (SVP) (USA), the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) (USA), the Psychology Association of South Africa (SA), and the Association of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). In 2009, he was awarded the Stals Prize of the South African Academy of Science and Arts for exceptional research and contributions to Psychology. In June 2014, he was awarded the Stals prize for exceptional research and contributions to Education, and he received the Psychological Society of South Africa’s (PsySSA) Award for Excellence in Science during the 20th South African Psychology Congress in September 2014. Prof. Maree was awarded Honorary Membership of the Golden Key International Honour Society for exceptional academic achievements, leadership skills and community involvement in October 2014. He was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal for Teaching and Learning from the University of Pretoria in 2010 and has been
nominated successfully as an Exceptional Academic Achiever on four consecutive occasions (2003‐ 2016). He has a B1 rating from the National Research Foundation (the highest rating in the history of the faculty).
Prof. Maree has authored or co‐authored 100 + peer‐reviewed articles and 55 books/ book chapters on career counselling, research and related topics since 2009. In the same period, he supervised 30 doctoral theses and Master’s dissertations and read keynote papers at 20 + international and at 20 + national conferences (e.g. Australia, Croatia, Egypt, France, Hungary, India, Italy, Mauritius, Poland, South Africa, Turkey, and the USA; e.g. one of the State‐of‐the‐Science speakers (Division 16: Counselling Psychology) at the International Congress of Applied Psychology, the flagship event on the international psychology calendar, held in Paris in July, 2014. Topic: Connecting life‐themes to construct self‐portraits. He has also presented numerous invited workshops at conferences across the world on a) integrating qualitative and quantitative approaches in career counselling, and b) the art and science of writing scholarly articles. Over the past seven years, he has spent a lot of time abroad. For instance, he accepted invitations to spend time as a visiting professor at various universities where he presented workshops on e.g. contemporary developments in career
counselling, article writing, and research methodology. Prof. Maree was awarded a fellowship of the IAAP at the ICAP Conference in Paris in July, 2014.