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The education of gifted children in the early years: A first survey of views, teaching practices, resourcing and administration issues
Australian Catholic University, Australia.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7113-647x
ChildForum ECE Network, Australia.
2012 (English)In: APEX: The New Zealand Journal of Gifted Children, E-ISSN 2324-1284, Vol. 17, no 1, p. 1-13Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper reports the findings of a survey of views on the early education of gifted childrenin New Zealand and identifies where challenges for professional support, resourcing, andeducational administration might lie. The 125 respondents represented a range of rolesconnected in some way with education and most (71%) also had first-hand experience ofcaring for or teaching a gifted child. Various views on how giftedness should be definedwere expressed, indicating that no agreement on a definition existed. Notwithstanding this,it was considered important to identify if a child was gifted or not. Talking with parentsabout their child’s abilities, along with formal and informal observation of the child were thepreferred methods for identifying giftedness. The findings suggest further research andconsultation on a definition or definitions of giftedness relevant to the early years ofeducation and the developmental characteristics of the young child is needed.Incongruence between what respondents believed teachers should do and what theyactually did in practice on a number of aspects of working with young gifted children wasfound. Respondents’ suggestions of resources included: ideas for extension activities;identification and assessment tools; and recognition of parents as an important resource forinformation. Written, online and media resources and the provision of teacher professionaldevelopment is clearly wanted and should help to raise understanding and knowledgeabout giftedness whilst also assisting teachers to more fully put beliefs into practice. Inregards to an educational administration question of where responsibility for giftededucation should sit within the Ministry of Education 74% of respondents thought it shouldbe brought under the Special Education section, though concerns were expressed theadequacy of resourcing in Special Education. Opinion was more divided on a question ofwhether gifted children should be permitted to start primary school before their fifthbirthday. This question generated the most feedback from respondents covering issuessuch as acceleration and appropriateness of the school setting for (any) children under-5years.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, NY: Exely inc. , 2012. Vol. 17, no 1, p. 1-13
Keywords [en]
gifted, children, early years, teaching, resource, administration, survey
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Educational Work; Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74472DOI: 10.21307/apex-2012-005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-74472DiVA, id: diva2:1345004
Available from: 2019-08-22 Created: 2019-08-22 Last updated: 2019-08-26Bibliographically approved

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Margrain, Valerie
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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