by Hanna Vock
While chapter 2 of the manual deals with recognising gifted children as early as possible and chapter 3 illuminates the specific characteristics of these children for a better understanding, chapter 4 is about measures of advancement in practice.
Chapter 4.1 compiles general basics of advancement in kindergarten; the following sub-divisions of the chapter deal with the different areas of education with every article attaching importance to a holistic approach.
You will find the concepts from chapter 2 (recognising) and chapter 3 (understanding) surfacing again in this chapter.
The described activities and projects facilitate a deeper understanding of gifted children – even if this is not always explicitly described; at the same time the potentials of the children are being assessed more accurately.
Oftentimes children who up to that point have not stood out as extraordinarily talented suddenly draw attention and their gift is recognised.
… in a nutshell …
The whole of the 4th chapter is dedicated to the question of what is possible in kindergarten to advance gifted children. This article will provide a first overview of what we at the IHVO consider to be important for good advancement.
The order of items in the following list does not represent an order of importance.
Notice when a child is underchallenged. Develop an understanding for the child’s permanent frustration and show it.
See: Permanent Frustration because of Being Underchallenged and Facing Incomprehension
Acknowledge and appreciate the intellectual abilities and achievements of the child without inhibition – in conversation with the child as well as before the group.
See: Confirm Intellectual Achievements of the Children
Forget about common age norms, let the child participate in the more challenging activities and tasks of older children.
See: Acceleration and Enrichment
Give the child adequate extra impulses, present adequate – not too small – challenges to the child.
See: Custom-fit Cognitive Advancement
In projects and when working in small groups, do adopt the ideas and contributions provided by the child and incorporate them in the work for the whole group.
See: Advancement through Projects and Advancement in Small Groups – Possibilities and Advantages
Help the gifted child and the group as a whole understand why and how the gifted child is different.
Do not rush to assign deficits in social behaviour to the gifted child, but observe closely how successful the child communicates with the other children (especially during the first days and weeks). If necessary help, mediate or „translate“ statements the child has made.
See: Children´s Questionnaire on Communication
Do welcome the child’s wish to learn reading and support this endeavour actively – as a means to achieve greater independence in its pursuit of more knowledge.
See: Early Reading
Provide playing materials, books, tools and gadgets that meet the child’s higher level of aspiration (maybe with the assistance of parents).
Be on the lookout for adequate playing companions for the child (in other groups too), so that the child gets a chance to play more difficult games and realise more complex playing ideas with other children.
See: Playfellows and Friends of Gifted Children
In order to facilitate better chances for creating clusters of more talented or even gifted children in kindergarten, proclaim the kindergarten as specialising in advancement of the gifted. Demand in-depth further trainings to that end or thoroughly study this manual.
Acknowledge, mention and appreciate explicitly the intellectual strengths of the child. Explain strengths as well as problematic developments in parent consultations by exemplifying them with concrete observations.
Encourage parents to support adequate friendships for the child.
Give due consideration to a recommendation for early school enrolment. Commit yourself to the child’s chance to spend and try out school for a sufficient amount of time (non-binding) so that all parties involved may come to a well founded decision on the issue.
See: chapter 6 of this manual.
Date of publication in German: 08.12.09 / version 2021
Translation: Arno Zucknick
Copyright © Hanna Vock