by Hanna Vock


An ingenious musician disposes of a different type of giftedness than an ingenious chemist or archaeologist. In every domain of human occupation giftedness is conceivable. Conceivable and indeed existent are an indefinite number of individual characteristics and combinations.

There are rather narrow domains of giftedness which are limited to very specified aptitudes and there is the kind of giftedness which extends over several domains. A common example is the gifted mathematician who is at the same time a gifted musician.

On this topic the reference is frequently made to Gardner (1998). He differentiates between nine kinds of intelligence (while I would prefer to speak of giftedness in this context):

  • linguistic
  • musical
  • logical-mathematical
  • spatial
  • bodily-kinesthetic
  • intrapersonal
  • interpersonal
  • naturalistic
  • existential

These types of intelligence are exemplified and explained in more detail under „Joelle Huser“ (pages 8-9). See Bibliography.

Participants in our courses have, as I think with good reason, raised the question whether it would not make sense to also postulate an artistic-creative and a technical giftedness as well.

In our IHVO-Certificate-Courses we are not so concerned with the identification and development of musical, bodily-kinesthetic or artistic-creative giftedness. These are most frequently safely identified and will in and outside of kindergartens find just encouragement. We focus our interest on the other types of giftedness, the so-called intellectual types and the still under-attended social giftedness (intrapersonal and interpersonal).

There are hardly any „gymnastic clubs“ for grey matter and in many kindergartens the deliberate cognitive development is not yet attended to in the way we would wish for all children and especially for the gifted.

The development of social skills is at the core of elementary pedagogies and it is being attended to very well in most kindergartens. However, not all gifted children have a special gift for social skills. Therefore they are often overwhelmed with the task of integrating with the other, not so gifted children. This is where it is especially important to understand the specific social problems of gifted children and to give adequate support.

Social giftedness as a domain of giftedness has so far not been given sufficient attention, possibly because there are no quantitative testing procedures yet. In practice we do however experience children displaying features of high social giftedness. This is exemplified by a number of reports by the participants of our courses. It must be assumed that in this domain a lot of gifts are waiting to be discovered and that ideas as to how to promote them in kindergarten are yet to be developed. There is certainly a lot to be done in this field.

Which are the Children in Question?

Date of publication in German: September 15 th , 2009.

Translated by Arno Zucknick

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