Perceptions of early childhood teachers towards young gifted children and their education

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2012
Tezcan, Feride
The aim of the study is to investigate early childhood teachers’ perceptions towards young gifted children and their self-reported needs for meeting needs of young gifted children. In order to reach this aim, interviews with 15 early childhood teachers were conducted. The interview questions were designed to explore three aspects of teachers’ perceptions on young gifted children: perception on giftedness as a concept, perception on characteristics of young gifted children and perception on gifted education. The findings of the study regarding these three aspects of early childhood teachers’ perceptions consistently showed that they perceive and define giftedness as a concept based on excellence in cognitive abilities of gifted children. Subsequently, cognitive characteristics which indicate high abilities in cognitive functions are stated most to define gifted characteristics. Related with that, early childhood teachers’ self reported practices in case of a gifted child in classroom consist mainly of individual studies to support high cognitive abilities of young gifted children. The findings regarding the needs of early childhood teachers in meeting the needs of young gifted children indicate that they have low self-efficacy beliefs in handling multidimensional educational needs of gifted children. They express their need for professional development and trainings with model practices. They also express the necessity of support in terms of time, material, resources, communication, collaboration and supervision in order to be able to practice the theoretical concepts they would acquire through means of professional development.

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Citation Formats
F. Tezcan, “Perceptions of early childhood teachers towards young gifted children and their education,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012.