Advancing early childhood educators’ access to professional learning in gifted and talented education

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Full reference
White, V. & Riley, T. (2017). Advancing early childhood educators’ access to professional learning in gifted and talented education.  NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, Special Issue: Early Childhood Teachers and their Work, 20(2), 34-49.  Retrieved from 

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Original Research Paper
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Advancing early childhood educators’ access to professional learning in gifted and talented education

Vanessa White* and Tracy Riley**
* Gifted Education Specialist, NZ
** Massey University, NZ.


The inquiry reported in this article sought to identify how specialists in gifted and talented education in New Zealand could provide professional learning and development support of value to early childhood educators. Embedded in a pragmatic epistemological framework, the perspectives of six early childhood educators were gleaned through semi-structured interviews, with contextual information being gathered through a brief online survey. Through a process of thematic analysis using an inductive approach, four themes emerged: incongruence between Ministry of Education documentation and practitioner support; gaps in knowledge and process; equitable opportunities and access to professional learning and support; and professional learning for modified and sustained practice. Early childhood educators expressed preferences for both direct professional learning support, as well as a facilitated process to develop sustainable networks within their local communities.

Key words: Gifted; talented; professional learning; support.



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