A Massey University and ChildForum survey on the education of gifted children in the early years has revealed that a child who is gifted may not be taught any differently from children who are not.
21.5% of respondents indicated every child should be considered a gifted child. A further 8% thought it possible for there to be no gifted children in any one early childhood or junior school class.
The survey of 125 education providers, professionals, academics and parents gives information on sector views and current provisions for gifted young learners to help to inform policy and practices.
Differences were identified between what respondents believed educators should do and what they have observed in practice. In terms of providing opportunities to develop abilities, support for learners’ problems/weaknesses and assistance to find support outside the education setting fewer respondents had observed this than those who believed this is what teachers should be doing .
Other actions were observed in practice more than respondents believed should be, in terms of focus on socialisation and play over development, avoiding drawing attention to exceptionality, and not differentiating between gifted and not gifted learners.
The types of resources considered to be most helpful for educators and others who are working with young gifted children to have included: teaching plans and ideas for extension activities, identification and assessment tools, case studies that include responses from teachers, learning stories of young gifted children, and tips, fact sheets and key information.
Around two thirds of the respondents valued articles in early years academic journals, online national networks and organisations (such as Childforum and giftEDnz), articles in parenting magazines (such as Littlies), and online through the TKI Ministry website for schools.