Reconsidering the Education of Gifted Young Children

Yuan Lai

Abstract


While conceptualizations of giftedness have been broadened to include many forms of giftedness, a reconceptualization of gifted programs has not followed. The paper argues that the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, combining important features of the fields of early childhood education and gifted education, is a good fit for gifted young children. This approach is proposed for gifted young children because of its view of children as competent and full of potential, its emphasis on the development of symbolic languages early in life, and its conduciveness to higher-level thinking. The paper suggests that the Reggio approach not only enhances intellectual development, but also nurtures multiple forms of knowledge representation in early childhood, thus laying foundations for diverse talent development.

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