In this edition of the Research in Practice Series, Cathie Harrison raises awareness of the nature of giftedness and the learning and affective strengths and needs of young gifted children. She shares definitions of the terms giftedness and talent and challenges some of the myths and stereotypes associated with giftedness. Examples are given for characteristics of giftedness that may be observed in early childhood settings such as atypical behaviours, heightened sensitivities and learning that appears advanced for age. Approaches to identifying and profiling the play and learning of young gifted children are outlined and strategies for responding to, and engaging with, young gifted children and their families are discussed. Cathie draws attention to a number of different theoretical and cultural perspectives and their relevance for educators working with young children. Gifted and talented: Inclusion and exclusion concludes with the consideration of pedagogical approaches and learning with young gifted children including:
- children as capable and competent learners
- family and community collaboration
- play and learning in the early years
- learning through relationships
- environments and resources
These pedagogical approaches invite young gifted children and their families into strong and collaborative learning partnerships that can grow understanding and celebrate diversity and difference within early childhood settings.
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