by Hanna Vock
Between the fall of 2005 and the fall of 2011 thirteen integrative focus kindergartens for the advancement of the gifted have been certified by the IHVO. There will be more.
Expansion of Expertise and New Structures:
The paths to certification as focus kindergarten were different.
Seven of the ten focus kindergartens evolved in the course of a targeted project lasting two-and-a-half years.
The remaining three have had their staff take IHVO-Certificate Courses and completed a half-year long project.
At the heart of this project lay:
- The introduction of advancement of gifted children to the existing concept of the facility
- Informing the parents of the facility about the new concept
- Public relations
See also: The Municipal Kindergarten Sedanstraße …
Prerequisites for the IHVO-Certificate for Kindergartens
The prerequisites for the IHVO-Certificate for kindergartens are standardised and ambitious:
- The team of the kindergarten has become open and sensitive towards the issue of advancement of gifted children.
- The administration of the facility supports the setting of this new focus.
- The head of the facility or his/her substitute have attained the personal IHVO-Certificate.
- In each group there is at least one staff member holding a personal IHVO-Certificate.
- The focus on integrative advancement of the gifted is laid down in writing in a pedagogic concept and well publicised throughout the area around of the facility.
- The team collaborates constructively, persistently and with great professional exchange among the team to recognize higher abilities in newly accepted children and to advance them adequately.
- All children are subject to targeted observation with regard to special, possibly higher talents and abilities at the beginning of their time at kindergarten and when they are five years old. These observations are taken down in writing and discussed among the staff and with the parents of the respective children. All this is confidential.
- The entire team is in a continuous, critical and constructive endeavour to assess the learning and playing resources of the facility. Communication is being enhanced continuously among the staff. Targeted work in small groups and projects aiming to further the extraordinarily talented or interested children are offered on a regular basis.
- The management and the administration support the team in the development of contents and the implementation of measures of advancement.
In order to renew the Certificate these prerequisites are to be accounted for in writing on the standardised questionnaire “In-House Assessment of Quality of Advancement of the Gifted” on a regular basis.
Prospects Provided by Focus Kindergartens:
At the heart of the concept is the idea of integrative groups which will form gradually and should have no more than 50 per cent gifted or assumed gifted children. This form of integration provides for three things:
Families with gifted or assumed gifted children are offered adequate child-care, upbringing and education for their children.
The kindergarten teacher can (once further trained) develop projects and small group activities with more complex demands without neglecting the group as a whole. Experience has shown that the non-gifted children profit from this, too.
The gifted children get a chance to also interact with “the likes of them”, in other words, they get to recognise their uncommon characteristics in others. This enables them to live out their need for playing complex games, having complex communication and collaboration and develop team spirit. The “castaway”-problem is being alleviated.
See also: Integrative Advancement – What Does It Mean? (German version)
Date of publication in German: November 19 th , 2009 / Version: December 17 th , 2010
Translated by Arno Zucknick
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see Imprint.
The translation of this article was made possible by
Heidi Zimmer, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany.