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Perceptions of preschool teachers of the characteristics of gifted learners in Abu Dhabi: A qualitative study



Considerable evidence supports that preschool education is a milestone stage for children. Nonetheless, systematic preschool gifted education programs rarely exist in public elementary schools. The current study explored the perceptions of 16 preschool teachers (general and special education teachers) from seven public schools in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) regarding their views about various components of gifted education for preschool children. Qualitative analyses, using the inductive data analysis method, revealed several themes such as (a) the concept and identification of giftedness, (b) characteristics of gifted preschoolers, (c) preschoolers’ problem-solving skills, (d) the communication and social skills of gifted preschoolers, resources/services offered by the school to serve gifted preschoolers, (e) enrichment programs available for gifted preschoolers, (f) inclusive education for gifted preschoolers, (g) twice-exceptional preschoolers, and (h) governmental support. The results of this study may help advocate for infusing more services and programs related to the identification and education of gifted preschoolers in public schools. The findings identified the need to have an abundance of assessment tools and enrichment programs that can empower preschool teachers to cater for giftedness.
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TYPE Original Research
PUBLISHED 01 November 2022
DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1051697
Anies Al-Hroub,
American University of Beirut, Lebanon
Taisir Yamin,
University of Winnipeg, Canada
Haida Umiera Hashim,
MARA University of Technology,
Ugur Sak,
Anadolu University, Turkey
Ahmed Mohamed
This article was submitted to
Educational Psychology,
a section of the journal
Frontiers in Psychology
RECEIVED 23 September 2022
ACCEPTED 17 October 2022
PUBLISHED 01 November 2022
Mohamed A and Elhoweris H (2022)
Perceptions of preschool teachers
of the characteristics of gifted
learners in Abu Dhabi: A qualitative
Front. Psychol. 13:1051697.
doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1051697
© 2022 Mohamed and Elhoweris. This
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Perceptions of preschool
teachers of the characteristics
of gifted learners in Abu Dhabi:
A qualitative study
Ahmed Mohamed*and Hala Elhoweris
College of Education, United Arab Emirates University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Considerable evidence supports that preschool education is a milestone
stage for children. Nonetheless, systematic preschool gifted education
programs rarely exist in public elementary schools. The current study
explored the perceptions of 16 preschool teachers (general and special
education teachers) from seven public schools in Abu Dhabi, United Arab
Emirates (UAE) regarding their views about various components of gifted
education for preschool children. Qualitative analyses, using the inductive
data analysis method, revealed several themes such as (a) the concept
and identification of giftedness, (b) characteristics of gifted preschoolers,
(c) preschoolers’ problem-solving skills, (d) the communication and social
skills of gifted preschoolers, resources/services offered by the school to
serve gifted preschoolers, (e) enrichment programs available for gifted
preschoolers, (f) inclusive education for gifted preschoolers, (g) twice-
exceptional preschoolers, and (h) governmental support. The results of this
study may help advocate for infusing more services and programs related
to the identification and education of gifted preschoolers in public schools.
The findings identified the need to have an abundance of assessment tools
and enrichment programs that can empower preschool teachers to cater
for giftedness.
gifted, preschool, teacher, perceptions, Abu Dhabi, characteristics
Teachers play a major role in the development of gifted preschoolers, not just
academically but holistically. They must be well-informed, trained, and supported so
that they are motivated and equipped to carry out quality educational interventions. It
is also salient that they hold positive perceptions and attitudes toward giftedness and
gifted education as these were found to affect the way they teach children (Kettler et al.,
2017b). Thus, the views and feedback of teachers must be considered to ensure that
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their teaching needs are addressed and that their best teaching
practices are recognized and documented. Teachers need to be
given the chance to take part in evaluating gifted education
programs in their respective schools and the country.
There is no universally accepted definition of giftedness.
Several waves of the conception of giftedness existed (Sternberg
and Kaufman,2018). For example, general intellectual ability
represented in intelligence assessments was used to identify
gifted children. Domain-specific models (e.g., Thurstone)
identified more specific mental abilities involved in intellectual
performance with general ability at the very top. The systems
model involved conceptions of giftedness that could entail
other psychological variables such as creativity (e.g., Renzulli’s
three-ring definition). Developmental models (e.g., Gagné’s
model) focused on the talent development process through
the interaction of environmental influences, non-intellective
variables, and learning.
Recent studies that looked into teachers’ perceptions of
gifted students and gifted education programs revealed that
educators’ understanding of giftedness is primarily based on
their educational background, training, and philosophy (Kettler
et al.,2017b), and their experiences working closely with regular
and gifted children. For instance, Margrain and Farquhar (2012)
determined that their teacher respondents were not able to
define giftedness in a single or cohesive manner, as their beliefs
and understanding of it varied.
Nordström (2022) explored the conditions of identifying
gifted preschoolers in the Swedish school system by interviewing
10 preschool teachers and 5 principals. The participants were
asked about their conceptions of giftedness and the obstacles
to meeting gifted preschoolers’ needs. The results showed
participants’ lack of knowledge about giftedness and the gifted’
labeling issues in society. Antoun (2022) examined Lebanese
primary school teachers’ perceptions of the education of gifted
students. The findings showed that cultural context had an
impact on teachers’ choices and perceptions in relation to gifted
education. Antoun et al. (2020) explored Lebanese primary
teachers’ perceptions of gifted students. The findings showed
that teachers had positive attitudes toward gifted education
but limited awareness of the evidence-based Western practices
of gifted education. Antoun et al. (2022) examined Lebanese
teachers’ perceptions in relation to education approaches used to
identify and serve gifted students in primary schools. The results
showed that teachers had a lack of awareness of international
practices. El Khoury and Al-Hroub (2018) examined Lebanese
primary teachers’ perceptions in relation to the gifted students
characteristics. The researchers proposed multidimensional
identification model that combines psychometric and dynamic
assessment, based on the Lebanese teachers’ perceptions toward
giftedness and the characteristics of gifted learners (Al-Hroub
and El-Khoury,2018).
Other studies showed that teachers often associate giftedness
with more positive characteristics (Moon and Brighton,2008),
and defined it based on gifted students’ exemplary skills and
abilities, such as cognitive capacities, motor skills, and social
skills (Yazici et al.,2017). Overall, teachers often explained
that the skills that these children possess are significantly more
developed compared to children’s chronological age.
Teachers more commonly describe gifted preschool children
in terms of their advanced general cognitive abilities that
they are generally intelligent (Konrad and Gabrijelcic,2015).
In some studies, nonetheless, teachers noted specific intellectual
abilities that they found significantly advanced among gifted
children. These include strong reasoning skills, a broad fund
of knowledge, a wide vocabulary (Moon and Brighton,2008),
reading skills and reading comprehension, problem-solving,
attention and memory, speed in processing, and creativity
(Ogurlu and Çetinkaya,2012;Dal Forno et al.,2015;Yazici et al.,
2017). Teachers believe that these competencies were developed
experientially in stimulating home environments. For instance,
parents expose their children to books, bring them on trips, or
help them learn at home (Moon and Brighton,2008).
Some gifted children were also noted to possess social skills
that are more developed than other children. More specifically,
they were described as sociable, able to relate well with peers, can
make friends relatively easily (Grant,2013;Yazici et al.,2017),
and have a strong connection with their community (Moon and
Brighton,2008). As early as preschool age, they demonstrate
empathy, can sympathize with others (Yazici et al.,2017), and
exude leadership qualities (Kettler et al.,2017a;Yazici et al.,
Teachers likewise noted that some of their students were
reportedly advanced in some areas of physical development.
Some gifted children’s physical or psychomotor skills developed
faster than most children their age (Yazici et al.,2017).
For instance, parents in Ogurlu and Çetinkaya (2012) study,
reported that their gifted children walked earlier or toilet-
trained faster. Some also noticed their children’s heightened
sensitivity to stimuli, such as light, sound, or smell.
Kettler et al. (2017a) identified several challenges for
preschools in setting up and running gifted education programs.
For one, a number of preschools have no clear policies on
gifted education, which follows that the school’s administration,
teachers, and staff are not completely aware of the guidelines
for best practices in gifted education. Aside from this, schools
find it challenging to find and retain qualified staff, citing that
it is a challenge to find a competent early childhood teacher
with experience and training in gifted education. Meanwhile,
untrained staff or teachers were found unwilling to provide
gifted services (Kettler et al.,2017b).
Limited resources such as budget, space, and time pose a
challenge in providing gifted education services at the preschool
level (Kettler et al.,2017a). Schools that do not consider gifted
education as a priority with a limited budget for funding
activities and procuring materials. School operators and teachers
also noted the lack of space or classrooms specifically dedicated
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to gifted education programs. The most limited resource that
teachers cited was time. Creating policies, deciding on practices,
and training on gifted education require time and effort from
teachers who are already loaded with work. Likewise, finding or
developing curriculum and materials for gifted preschoolers was
seen as time-consuming and effortful.
One notable consideration that some preschools have about
establishing gifted programs at the early childhood level is the
tendency of children’s development to change in a couple or
more years (Kettler et al.,2017a). Teachers claim that whereas
children may appear advanced for their age at the preschool
level, their performance may just be at par when they reach
the primary level. Moreover, teachers have reservations about
accepting children younger than preschool age, specifically those
below the typical school age of 5 years old, even if they exhibit
advanced academic abilities. This is due to the belief that
younger children benefit best from building relationships with
their same-age peers, and that children below 5 years old may
not have the emotional maturity to cope with the demands of
school (Margrain and Farquhar,2012).
Despite this generally unseemly feedback regarding the
status of gifted education at the early childhood levels,
preschool teachers deem that working with gifted preschoolers
is important and necessary (Cosar et al.,2015;Konrad and
Gabrijelcic,2015). Aside from honing talent, establishing gifted
education services in preschool may help young children
and their families deal with challenging behaviors that
come with giftedness. If giftedness is detected in preschool,
difficult behaviors, such as emotional sensitivity, restlessness, or
boredom, may be addressed early (Kettler et al.,2017b).
In addition, teachers uphold that gifted education should
be included and treated as special education, as gifted
children have needs that are different from their age mates
and are not addressed by mainstream education (Margrain
and Farquhar,2012). Hence, this implies that governments’
respective education sectors or Ministries of Education may
reconsider the scope of special education to include gifted
Professional development training on gifted education was
found to contribute to teachers’ attitudes and perceptions
toward this program. More specifically, teachers who are more
accepting of establishing gifted education programs in their
institutions are those who have training in special needs
education. In a study conducted by Vreys et al. (2018), teachers
felt more confident with their skills in providing educational
interventions for the gifted, and in applying differentiation
techniques after they underwent extensive training on gifted
Teachers have varied views of the processes of identification,
assessment, and the conduct of in-school services for gifted
children. Teachers recognize the value of proper identification
of gifted students as early as preschool years (Yazici et al.,2017).
Whereas giftedness is typically identified at the primary levels,
teachers claim that it is possible to identify the potentially gifted
even at an early age (Margrain and Farquhar,2012;Konrad and
Gabrijelcic,2015). This process is regarded as important by most
teachers and they acknowledge the significance of their role as
they are the first and constant companions of children in school.
Teachers are likely to be the first to spot proficiency and talent
in their students as they work with them in class (Senicar and
In a study done by Senicar and Senicar (2018), teachers
expressed that they feel confident in their ability to recognize
a gifted child by mere observation and evaluation of their
class work. There are teachers, however, who feel that they are
ill-equipped to identify gifted children. They believe that the
process of identification requires greater skills training or having
an additional staff or teacher to assist them with this (Konrad
and Gabrijelcic,2015). In Margrain and Farquhar (2012) study,
some teachers are not keen on doing a formal assessment
for identification but are open to observing children in the
The learning environment of gifted preschoolers should be
enriching in itself, and one filled with a variety of activities,
and materials that children can work with (Grant,2013).
However, the school community’s conflicting beliefs about
gifted education may pose a challenge to its implementation
(Kettler et al.,2017a). Some educators believe that labeling and
segregating gifted children is unfair to children, and placing
them in higher grade levels bring more disadvantage to their
Whereas the method of differentiation has been evaluated as
one of the more effective interventions for gifted children, some
school administrators and teachers have reservations about
mixing regular classroom curriculum and modified curriculum.
They noted concerns about allotting equal attention to both
curricula and serving the needs of all students in the classroom
(Kettler et al.,2017a). Moreover, some schools that adhere to
a developmentally appropriate or age-appropriate curriculum
perceived gifted services as digressing from this pedagogy,
hence, may not be completely aligned with programs for the
Conversely, Grant (2013) noted that more than creating
effective in-school services for gifted preschoolers, teachers
should prioritize coming up with programs that make every
child feel emotionally secure in school and help them build
healthy social relationships. It was found that children felt
most emotionally secure and intellectually stimulated when
these children are genuinely engaged by their teachers in
conversations about topics that they find interesting and
stimulating. Moreover, teachers believe that helping children
socialize and play with their peers is more important than skill
development and that it may be beneficial to not highlight they
are being exceptional to avoid deliberately differentiating regular
and gifted learners (Margrain and Farquhar,2012).
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With the availability of information about gifted
individuals and gifted programs, and through the advocacies of
organizations for the gifted, people’s understanding of giftedness
and their appreciation for gifted services have evolved. Schools
began adopting educational programs and interventions to cater
to the special needs of gifted learners. Likewise, the past decade
has seen a growth in studies on giftedness and gifted education,
mostly at the primary and secondary grade levels. There is,
however, a paucity of studies on gifted education programs at
the early childhood level (Kettler et al.,2017a). Most of the
studies on giftedness in preschool revolve around the rigors
of identifying potentially gifted children, their characteristics,
and early childhood educational institutions’ current gifted
programs and services.
Gifted education in the UAE is still developing. The UAE has
established several distinctive endeavors to nurture giftedness.
Examples include the Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance, the
Emirates Association for the Gifted, and the Abu Dhabi
Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK). Also, the
UAE government declared 2015 as the year of innovation.
The country celebrates innovation in March of every year.
Although ADEK is infusing some promising professional
development programs and several enrichment programs, these
efforts are almost dedicated to elementary, middle, and high
school students. Identification and enrichment opportunities
for gifted preschoolers are limited. The COVID-19 pandemic
also imposed several challenges concerning helping preschool
teachers to identify and nurture giftedness in preschoolers.
It can be noted that there is a dearth in the literature
examining in-school gifted services at the preschool level. Other
than educational interventions, such as differentiation and
curriculum compacting, there was no other specific literature
on mainstream school practices that allow for the discovery
and further development of potentially gifted preschoolers’
skills and talents. Similarly, literature on the identification of
gifted students focused on traditional methods of testing and
observations in the classroom. Other non-traditional methods
of identification that teachers employ in and out of the
classroom have not been widely studied.
Considering that teachers are the everyday companions of
preschool children in school and the primary implementors of
a school curriculum, it is important to heed their perceptions
of giftedness and gifted education programs and to obtain
their feedback with regard to their perceived competence in
implementing gifted services, and experience of support from
the school and larger community.
The purpose of this study was to explore preschool teachers’
perceptions of gifted preschoolers, definitions of giftedness,
characteristics of gifted students, and services and programs
offered to gifted preschoolers. The following questions guided
the study:
1. How do you, as a special education teacher, define the
concept of giftedness?
2. What are the intellect and non-intellect characteristics of
gifted preschoolers?
3. What are the resources or services offered by your
school or community to help identify and nurture gifted
4. What are effective grouping options that should be
available to gifted preschoolers?
5. Do you have any twice-exceptional (gifted students with
ADHD, gifted students with autism, and gifted students
with learning disabilities) students in your classroom?
6. Do you think that gifted preschoolers in the UAE are
well served? Do you have any suggestions about how to
improve identification and enrichment resources for gifted
Materials and methods
Because this study aimed at determining preschool teachers’
perceptions about the identification and education of gifted
preschoolers, a qualitative method was adopted. The qualitative
method recognizes that reality is a social construct of giftedness
in which the complexity and context of the emerging data
must be considered; the participant, not the method, should
be the primary focus (Al-Hroub,2021,2014). The process of
qualitative research is inductive and allows inquiries about a
topic by collecting data. The researchers used qualitative content
analysis. The nine questions raised in the study were used as
the main categories. The deductive approach was adopted for
this analysis (Zhang and Wildemuth,2009). In this study, a
total of 16 preschool teachers participated; 12 female teachers
were citizens, and 4 teachers were residents/expats. A total of 13
teachers were homeroom teachers and 3 were special education
teachers working in preschools. Their teaching experience
ranged from 3 to 14 years. The teachers were selected from 7
public schools in Al Ain City, UAE, a city on the Western side of
the UAE. The selected teachers worked in public schools funded
primarily by the government.
A total of nine semi-ended interview questions were used
in this study. The researchers of this study asked identical
questions that were worded so that the answers provided by
participants would be open-ended (Turner,2010). The purpose
of the interview was to collect information about teachers’
perceptions of the education of gifted preschoolers (Kvale,2008).
The interview questions were presented in accordance with the
purpose of the study so that the participants’ responses would
provide insight into the teachers’ perceptions and experiences
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related to gifted preschoolers. The researchers attended to any
useful information that might lead to follow-up questions to
further clarify the perceptions (Rubin and Rubin,2005). Prior
to conducting the research study, the researchers obtained
the Social Sciences Research Committee’s approval to start
recruiting the study participants. A consent form, outlining the
purpose of the study and all relevant details, was shared with
teachers from the different schools and 16 teachers consented
to participate in the focus group discussions. The participants’
information was anonymized and the focus group discussions
were conducted by the researchers of this study who did not
know the participants.
Due to the current pandemic conditions, the interviews
were conducted online using Microsoft Teams. Interviews
were conducted using open-ended questions. The researchers
collected data from the interviews about teachers’ perceptions
of the identification, characteristics, services, and inclusion
of gifted preschoolers (Hatcher et al.,2012). Because the
interviews were conducted using MS Teams, the interview
sessions were recorded for later analysis (Yin,2011). Then,
the recordings were shared with a research assistant who
translated the interview transcripts into English. The researchers
checked the English version of the transcripts and shared the
transcripts with the participating teachers for further member
check and accuracy. A few editing remarks have been applied
to some parts of the interview. To protect the privacy of the
participants, pseudonyms were used instead of real names, and
no identifying information related to the participants or schools
were mentioned.
The inductive data analysis was used in this study because it
rests on getting information based on participants’ experiences
(Yin,2011). The use of inductive data analysis is advantageous as
it allows the researcher to generate meaning from the interview
data and helps identify patterns and relationships between
participants’ responses (Dudovskiy,2016). The researcher used
NVivo 11 to organize and code the data obtained from the
interviews. The data were coded and reassembled and themes
were generated. The researchers looked for patterns in the
responses given by the teachers and recorded the similarities
and differences in responses given by the teachers during the
interview (Creswell,2017). Thus, the researchers started to make
interpretations and reach conclusions. Open-ended interviews
may restrict the generalization of the results as the participants’
responses might not be authentic (Rubin and Rubin,2005).
Special education teachers’ definition
of giftedness
Special education teachers defined giftedness as abilities and
talents that are advanced or significantly better developed than
the normal population. These abilities were described as natural
or innate to children, yet may still improve when nurtured.
For the teachers, age serves as a benchmark for comparing
the gifted with average children. As Teacher 2 concisely put it,
students possess the capabilities that are considerably above the
norm of their age.” A number of teachers particularly referred
to exceptional intellectual capacities, such as the ability to think
quickly or to remember information. They likewise recognize
that whereas giftedness is usually associated with exemplary
cognitive abilities, exceptionality may also manifest in other
domains: In my opinion, giftedness is obvious in domains like
artistic, intellectual, leadership, creative or in some particular
academic fields like science, mathematics or arts.”
Identifying gifted preschoolers
The teacher respondents noted that identifying gifted
preschoolers is a process. It involves a series of steps with
several people working together to determine who among the
students is high achieving. According to Teacher 4, “It takes
considerable time, patience, and essential knowledge to recognize
the students with giftedness. Giftedness identification is not a short
and immediate process. From parents to teachers, everybody plays
a vital role in determining students with giftedness.”
Identification utilizes multiple assessment methods.
Teachers recognize the importance of their role in this process.
When students are in class, teachers screen for gifted ones
by carefully observing students at work and evaluating if a
child’s performance is exceptional. They also use tests to assess
class performance and to identify which level should these
students be placed in.
In some classes, parents are also involved in the screening
process. Children are not just observed by teachers in the
classroom, but parents are likewise asked to observe their
children at home. Teachers who took part in the study
enumerated signs of giftedness that parents should look for
in their children. These include the speed of learning, relative
maturity in thoughts and actions, broad vocabulary, advanced
reading skills, interest in problem-solving tasks, capacity to
express oneself adequately, and preference for the company of
older children over same-age or younger peers.
Students observed gifts
Teachers recognized that giftedness may be manifested in
different domains. The respondents’ students demonstrated
exemplary cognitive skills, such as memory, processing speed,
verbal expression, reading comprehension, and in math
reasoning. Excellent memory was the common denominator
among their gifted students. The memory that the teachers
described in their anecdotes referred to short-term memory,
such as identifying and remembering letters, and to long-term
memories, such as remembering situations. Teacher 7 described
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his student, One child was able to remember any story that
was read to him in the classroom, he was able to retell the same
story again without any mistakes, which showed the teacher his
excellent memorization abilities.”
Other gifts that the teachers noted include their students’
ability to work on tasks more quickly than other students, to
fluently express themselves orally and in writing, and to solve
math problems with relative ease.
Teachers’ perceived characteristics of
gifted preschoolers
Gifted preschoolers were described in terms of their
cognitive strengths, their approach to learning, and with
reference to their personal qualities. Most gifted preschoolers
were described as significantly intelligent. A number of teachers
associated giftedness with having an excellent memory and
strong verbal abilities. According to the teachers, despite
their students’ young age, gifted preschoolers can learn
quickly, remember a great deal of information, and can
express themselves fluently with their wide vocabulary. Some
were identified to have strong math skills and artistic
and musical skills.
According to the teacher respondents, gifted preschoolers
approach learning differently than their same-age classmates.
They are noticeably more inquisitive. They have varied interests
and are constantly asking questions. They likewise enjoy tasks
that are challenging and require problem solving, like working
with puzzles. These behaviors suggest that gifted preschoolers
have an innate desire to learn. As Teacher 9 put it, They
have a great motivation to learn.” Aside from these, gifted
preschoolers were observed to be imaginative and creative. The
more they know, the wider their imagination and the more
creative they get. Some gifted children are also endowed with
positive qualities, such as leadership and a sense of fairness,
high self-esteem, strong motivation, high ambition, capacity for
emotion regulation, and a good sense of humor.
Teachers’ views about gifted
preschoolers’ problem-solving skills
Teachers believe that, along with critical thinking, the
skill of problem solving is a strength that must be cultivated
in gifted preschoolers. Teacher 10 emphasized this point by
saying, “Whatever the method of teaching problem-solving and
critical thinking skills, the message is the same - to support the
development of gifted children’s strengths, I must give them the
opportunity to engage them with problem-solving and employ
critical thinking.”
Teachers noted that gifted preschoolers’ problem-solving
skills are advanced for their age and grade level. Teacher
12 shared, “[They] are sometimes more intelligent than their
teachers in solving problems, for example, gifted students can
provide problem-solving methods for the teachers”. This was
seconded by another teacher, who said that gifted children are
even able to answer questions that adults raise. Aside from
these, gifted preschoolers were observed to find solutions by
trying out different ways, “If you put a problem for them,
they will put several solutions.” Teacher 10 described children’s
problem-solving skills as “scientific” perhaps pertaining to
being systematic.
One notable finding refers to problem solving as an ability
that may be affected by other skills, such as social skills
and self-regulation, and traits like self-confidence. Teacher 7
concisely put it, “Many gifted individuals with high intelligence
may fail in practical life if they do not have the emotional
intelligence that makes them more able to deal with feelings
of failure in frustration, anger, and excitement, and more able
to empathize with others, and to use social skills that make
them more efficient in solving the problems.” This response
suggested that problem-solving is not limited to cognitive or
academic tasks. It also involves working through conflicts in
interpersonal relationships.
Teachers’ assessment of gifted
preschoolers’ communication and
social skills
Gifted preschoolers differ in their communication and social
skills. Teacher 2 explained, “Some of them like to communicate
and has good social skills, some of them do not, and it depends
on their personality and characteristics.” Most of the teachers
who participated in the study noted their students’ capacity to
communicate and relate well with others if they want to or when
the situation calls for it.
Nonetheless, teachers have observed how these children’s
giftedness may affect their ability to connect meaningfully
with others. More specifically, they are advanced, hence being
different in terms of skills and talents, their tendency to have an
inflated sense of self-esteem, and their hypersensitivity, which
may keep them from making and keeping friends. Because they
are intellectually different, “their talent may act as an obstacle
to his social compatibility and prevent good relationships and
friendships from being held with others, and he is being ignored
and ostracized by his peers.” In the same vein, some children
are disliked because of their tendency to unknowingly elevate
themselves from others, as they are smarter”.
Some gifted children tend to be sensitive and emotional.
This characteristic may both be helpful and unfavorable at the
same time. One teacher noted how some gifted preschoolers’
tendency to get easily hurt when given negative comments, may
keep the child from communicating with his/her classmates
or teachers. Hence, teachers underscore the importance of
developing communication and social skills so that they may
grow well-adjusted. In Teacher 5 own words, social and
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communication skills are essential for the preschooler to adjust to
society. When a child is brought up with good communication and
social skills, the child is able to establish a healthy relationship with
others around him.”
Resources and services offered by the
school and community in identifying
gifted preschoolers
Identification of gifted students is a process. Teachers noted
several steps that begin with identification and proceed to the
placement of students in the classroom. The first step is usually
screening, which involves selecting the potentially gifted and
talented from among the students. General education teachers
are usually the ones tasked to do this. Once screened, identified
children are assessed using different methods. The third step
is placing identified students in the gifted programs, whether
through inclusion or separate special classes.
The assessment of students is multi-method. The use of
classroom assessments and specialized tests are among the most
common tools employed by schools. Classroom assessments
include the teachers’ objective evaluation of the student’s
performance in class activities. The tests that some teachers
use are the ones provided by their respective schools, the
Ministry of Education, or other institutions such as the British
Council in Abu Dhabi.
Identified children are also administered standardized tests,
such as specialized tests of giftedness. Teacher 9 noted, In
our kindergarten, we use a Gifted Identification Kit developed
by a team of researchers from the USA, which is about ten
different learning centers/intelligence, including mathematical,
analytical, spatial, and linguistic, whether the child is gifted or not
until the gifted child is discovered through them”. Other norm-
referenced tests used by schools to identify gifted preschoolers
include intelligence or IQ tests, achievement tests, and early
developmental assessments. It can be noted that most of the tests
that schools use are those that only assess intellectual abilities.
There was no mention of using tests that look into children’s
social or emotional development.
Teachers recognize the value of classroom observation in the
process of identification. This is most true for teachers whose
institutions do not have specific guidelines for screening for
giftedness. Teacher 13 shared, “there is no specific mechanism
in kindergarten because we have a system of learning centers,
for example, there is a mathematics center, a construction
center, a reading center, and a writing center, the child
when he/she starts working in the center, the teacher begins
discovering the gifted, whether the child has a potential or
not.” Similarly, observations done by teachers in the classroom
provide additional information that supplements the results of
standardized tests. Teacher 15 described how his/her student’s
behavior in the classroom differed from the child’s test results,
“while doing the IQ test most of the time, the IQ test shows
different results than expected. As an example, we conducted
an IQ test for a child, and the result was that his IQ level was
very low, but his cognitive abilities in the classroom were very
good according to what the results showed, so we focused on the
classroom observation.
Some schools employ the use of questionnaires and
checklists to assess the students’ behaviors outside the
classroom. These tools were completed either by teachers,
parents or both. Aside from assessments, gifted children are
also identified through school competitions. Contests and
competitions serve as means to spot talented students. Aside
from services specific to identification, the teachers mentioned
other resources that help them serve gifted students. For
one, schools, where the respondents teach, have specialized
classrooms designed for gifted students. This is where students
take specialized classes apart from those that they take with
regular students.
The teachers themselves and their work were considered
essential resources in serving gifted learners. From
identification, and placement, to nurturing the students’ talents,
the role of the teachers is very important. As how Teacher 8
put it, it is the diligence of the teacher that she communicates
with the parents to try to cultivate the gifts that we discovered.”
In addition, teachers consider other professionals working with
these students as valuable in assisting gifted learners to adjust
well to school and to achieve their maximum potential.
There are teachers, however, who perceive that their schools
lack specific and clear guidelines and resources for gifted
students and that the screening and academic modifications
were done by teachers on their prerogative. When asked about
services and resources, teacher 10 answered, “Nothing! This is the
teacher’s job. The school doesn’t do anything. We used to go to a
math class so I could challenge him to push further, but there is a
center, great. We’re trying to provide extra activities in math.”
Enrichment programs for gifted
preschoolers in the school or the
Different schools offer a variety of programs that aim to
support and cultivate gifted preschoolers’ talents. To ensure
that students receive continuous services, some schools hold
in-school enrichment programs throughout the school year.
During school days, students attend activities or special classes
apart from their regular classes. Gifted learners benefit from
differentiated instruction and curriculum modifications, “If the
teachers discover a gifted child in a specific subject such as science
or math, then he/she will give different activities/resources to the
gifted child according to his abilities and what suits his interests”.
On weekends, they hold scientific workshops of various interests
to help foster children’s skills and abilities. There are also
courses, such as training and creative pursuits, held during
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the holidays and summer to ensure year-round guidance for
gifted students.
Aside from these, school-based Learning Support Programs
intended for all students were found helpful for gifted learners
as well. Teacher 4 described learning support activities as
an integrated program that we use in our school for a gifted
and normal student, it is an in-school program. Our dedicated
learning support teacher provides one-on-one and small group
work activities with the children using a wide range of materials
and activities. Such activities focus on art, creativity, math, and
The respondents noted how valuable school clubs are in
developing their skills. “The most famous programs among the
students are the clubs, in the clubs, they have the opportunity
to improve their talent under the teachers observation, said
Teacher 15. Clubs may also serve as a venue for children, who
share the same passion and interests, to interact and practice
their communication and social skills. Likewise, holding fairs,
such as Science and Book fairs, function as opportunities for
the students to showcase their skills and learn more about
their interests. Meanwhile, competitions held in schools were
found helpful not just in identifying gifted students but in
challenging themselves and nurturing their talents. One teacher
pointed out, “We can choose talented students and we can
get them involved in competitions between schools. Teachers
appreciate the grants/funds that their students receive from
external sponsors. The Emirates give grants to gifted students.
These grants may include financial aid for engagement in
activities that may further children’s talents or may be given
simply as a reward for their exemplary performance.
At the core of these enrichment programs are the teachers
who go the extra mile to help their students develop their gifts.
When teachers discover talent, they take it upon themselves to
nurture their students’ abilities. Teachers do this to the best of
their capacity and given the resources that they have in school.
Teacher 13 recounted, we give children activities according to
their levels, but if we discover a gifted student, we give them more
activities, for example, we have research and discovery corner, and
also a giftedness corner in which thinking skills are greater and
more difficult.”
Teachers’ perceptions about inclusive
classrooms and separate classrooms
for gifted preschoolers
Teachers were found to have varying beliefs when it
comes to the placement of gifted preschoolers. They justified
their answers to this question by stating the advantages
and disadvantages of putting gifted learners in an inclusive
classroom or specialized classes separate from regular students.
Teachers who are in favor of inclusion stated that bringing
regular and gifted students together in one classroom may
be mutually beneficial for both groups of learners. “I think
regular classes are better because we will have students with
different abilities. As a result, other students will encourage typical
students to pursue academic excellence. This will lead to academic
progress.This view was shared by several respondents.
Likewise, teachers deemed that this set-up may positively
impact gifted students in the sense that they may develop
their communication and social skills through interaction with
other students. There were, however, identified disadvantages to
inclusion. A couple of respondents shared their concerns about
how regular classroom instruction and arrangement may curb
the development of gifts, especially if gifted students do not
receive extra support. Another challenge lies in the teacher’s
ability to cater to both regular and gifted students at the same
time. Teacher 9 noted, “Sometimes theres not enough time to
complete in-depth projects that gifted students like to do.
Recognizing these challenges, some respondents share the
perception that inclusion with adjunct special sessions or classes
might be the better learning set-up for gifted preschoolers.
Teacher 2 put it, “gifted students can show and improve their
extraordinary talents or activities in regular classroom lessons.
But somewhere in mind, I think that they also need a particular
class for enhancing their unique talents. They should be trained
individually to improve their gifts and talents”. These teachers
recognize the importance of having gifted and regular students
together to help the former develop not just academically, but
socially and emotionally as well.
Presence of twice-exceptional
students in the classroom
Three teachers who participated in this study currently
have at least one student in their class who display exceptional
abilities, yet is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Two teachers said that their gifted students were diagnosed with
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Teacher 5
noted that she had a twice-exceptional student in class, however,
was not able to specify what was the condition. The rest of the
teachers do not have twice exceptional students at the time the
study was conducted. Teacher 2 mentioned, last year I had a
child with an autism spectrum and had speech problems, but he
was distinguished in mathematics”. Teacher 9 concluded, I have
a student with autism who has little speech capabilities and cannot
explain what he needs.”
Teachers’ perceptions of the adequacy
of services received by gifted
preschoolers in the United Arab
Most of the respondents perceived that gifted preschoolers
in the UAE are well-served. They were most satisfied with the
way the Emirates and the Ministry of Education have been
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supporting and advocating for gifted and talented students. The
support that they receive from the government is regarded as
essential in servicing gifted learners. As teacher 11 described
it, the students with giftedness are the wealth of our country.
Our government has instructed every school to provide specialized
training to gifted students. As our government thinks that gifted
students can be the strongest pillars of our development, we should
make the best students who can make us proud.” Teacher 7
underscored how UAE has been at the forefront of servicing
individuals with special needs, including gifted and talented
students, “UAE is one of the countries that value individuals with
disabilities, and they also provide what a gifted student may need
in the academic field. UAE has provided the best programs that
can be found in the world. Individuals with special needs also get
financial support from the government to help them manage their
needs, even though they don’t have to pay for the services they get.
Overall, the teachers believe that the services are adequate
and that the needs of students are well addressed from material
and financial needs to quality supervision from teachers and
other allied professionals. Teacher 1 furthered that they take
pride in UAE having institutions, such as the Hamdan Bin
Rashid Al Maktoum Center for Talent and Creativity support
the school and the students, “The ministry of the education
serves the discovery of talents (masterpieces) in various fields for
example (music, drama, visual arts, poems, and traditional arts).
The Emirates give these students, or they can sometimes travel
abroad to get more knowledge and experience. We have a lot of
these services.
There are, however, teachers who believe that some Emirates
still lack efforts in addressing micro issues related to supporting
gifted learners. For instance, Teacher 15 noted how parents
should be helped in understanding and handling the behaviors
of gifted children, “in some ways, I think they should provide
our country. . . I know a lot of parents make their children feel
that they do something wrong when they express themselves,
and that makes them feel little discouragement for his/her
inability”. Whereas this concern is not directly related to
cultivating gifts and talents, teachers recognize how parents’
appreciation of their children’s gifts and their understanding
of their children’s tendencies make it easier for teachers to
collaborate with parents.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore
preschool teachers’ perceptions and awareness of the definition,
assessment, identification, characteristics, and services provided
to gifted preschoolers. A related purpose was to examine
preschool teachers’ conceptualization of gifted preschoolers
problem-solving skills, resources available to serve gifted
preschoolers, and programming options. There is an unmet
need in both preschool education and gifted education as
to which gifted preschoolers are identified and serviced.
The researchers followed the constant comparison analysis
in data reduction and nine themes portrayed how preschool
teachers envision various factors related to the education of
gifted preschoolers.
There is no doubt that preschool education is an essential
foundation. Research showed that individual differences
in intellectual development occur in preschool (Koshy
and Robinson,2006). Also, providing gifted students with
appropriate educational programming such as acceleration
will yield considerable effects for those who exhibit advanced
abilities and cognitive development (McClarty,2015). The
first theme found in the responses referred to the special
education teachers’ definition of giftedness. Teachers in this
study referred to giftedness as exceptional intellectual abilities
manifested in the ability to think quickly or to remember
information. This corroborates what Al-Hroub and El-Khoury
(2018) concluded, on a study of the perceptions of 150 Lebanese
elementary teachers toward gifted students, that giftedness is a
combination of three components: high academic performance,
high intellectual ability, and social intelligence.
For gifted preschoolers’ characteristics, teachers in
this study reported several characteristics such as good
memory, processing speed, verbal expression, reading
comprehension, and reasoning skills. Most teachers focus
on the role of intellectual capacities that make the preschooler
distinguished from other students. They also reported some
other characteristics such as curiosity and a wide vocabulary.
Other personality characteristics include leadership, a sense
of fairness, high self-esteem, high motivation, and a sense
of humor. It is important that teachers understand the
psychological characteristics of identifying giftedness (Porter,
2005). Havigerová and Haviger (2014) posited teachers that
such characteristics as pace, autonomy, and attention constitute
the gifted child’s personality. Moreover, the characteristics
described by teachers resemble those by Renzulli’s Three-Ring
Model in which he posited that gifted students possess several
characteristics such as having various interests, curiosity, agility
in learning, inquiry skills, and above-average performance
(Renzulli,2002). In addition, teachers’ views about the role
of school performance in the identification of giftedness are
congruent with Gagne’s view about giftedness as a natural
ability that is related to the student’s performance in schoolwork
Teachers stated that gifted preschoolers possess problem-
solving skills that are affected by other factors such as self-
regulation, social skills, interpersonal relationships, and self-
confidence. Also, teachers reported that gifted preschoolers have
good communication skills. This corroborates Kıldan (2011)
who found that preschool teachers’ definition of giftedness
focused on superiority and creativity. Teachers in this study
stressed the important role of general education teachers in the
identification process which is based on several stages and layers.
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They pointed out that classroom assessments and teachers’
evaluations of students’ performance in schools are important
indicators of students’ giftedness. Teachers also recognized
the necessity of having standardized tests, achievement tests,
and developmental assessments in the identification process.
However, teachers did not focus on the assessment of social and
emotional development. They focused on the important role
of classroom observation in identifying gifted students. They
consider observation techniques in preschool as valuable tools
that consolidate other standardized assessments. Teachers also
viewed that school clubs, competitions, and activities play an
important role in recognizing different gifts.
Nonetheless, teachers reported that there is a lack of clear
and specific guidelines and resources for gifted preschoolers
and that screening and curricular modifications are conducted
through teachers’ endeavors. There is a lack of theoretical clarity
in gifted education which leads to fragmented and inconsistent
services (Renzulli,2012) and inconsistent definitions of
giftedness (Subotnik et al.,2011). Hence, the absence of gifted
education policies and services can be related to the lack of
theoretical clarity in gifted education (Kettler et al.,2017b).
Teachers reported that learning support programs are helpful
for gifted preschoolers. The role of school clubs is highly
emphasized by teachers in developing gifted preschoolers’ skills.
Competitions held in the schools are also good sources of
identifying students with gifts. External funding also helps
teachers run programs that cater for gifted preschoolers.
Teachers’ beliefs related to placement options for gifted
preschoolers varied in this study. A group of teachers reported
that inclusive classrooms can be beneficial for both gifted
and regular students. However, a few teachers were concerned
that inclusive classrooms may curb the development of gifted
students in case they do not receive enrichment opportunities.
Also, the teachers raised the role of teacher preparation in
catering for both regular and gifted students at the same
time. Kettler et al. (2017b) found that teachers perceived a
lack of time, space, and money required for running gifted
programs. Teachers’ concerns might indicate that “separatist
models of gifted education rather than talent development
models advocating integrated differentiation” (p. 127). There
is a need to provide gifted students with responsive learning
environments in preschool settings (NAGC,2006).
Although teachers in this study reported that they have
children with autism spectrum disorder is their classrooms,
however, they might not be familiar with how to identify
and nurture children with dual exceptionality. Al-Hroub and
Whitebread (2008) concluded that many teachers were not
accurate about identification of twice-exceptional children.
Teachers in this study also reported that although the
available services are satisfactory there is an unmet need
to address micro issues related to supporting gifted learners
such as parent support. More services should be directed
toward the identification and education of gifted students in
preschool education. Preschool-gifted education is a neglected
field (Barbour and Shaklee,1998). Kettler et al. (2017b) reported
that the lack of information about gifted education services
is one of the major barriers. Outdated perceptions of gifted
education can be a barrier perceived by practitioners who
might be ambivalent about the current recommended practices
Teachers also focused on the important role of sustainable
professional development in enhancing their abilities to identify
and nurture gifted preschoolers. Pianta et al. (2016) found
that teachers with at least a bachelor’s degree had higher-
quality classrooms and more instructional support. Konrad and
Gabrijelcic (2015) found that preschool teachers in Slovenia
need more opportunities for professional development as they
have low self-competence in relation to identifying the personal
characteristics of gifted children. Considering their experiences
in working with gifted children, teachers are among the primary
persons to know how best to help gifted and talented young
learners. Whereas most of them were satisfied with the services
that UAE provides for gifted individuals, they deem that these
can still be continuously enhanced.
Professional development of teachers was among the most
recommended step to furthering gifted programs. One teacher
emphasized, “We always recommend to the government to
provide classes for the teacher to get to know more about the
special education field and the gifted students.” Teachers need to
be trained in all areas of the program from identification to the
evaluation of performance and abilities. Aside from training and
other professional development activities, teachers believe that
collaborating with colleagues helps them gain insight and learn
strategies for teaching gifted students. Hence, teachers should be
given more opportunities to link up and converse with fellow
teachers through organized activities, such as conventions or
fora. A teacher said, “Teachers should have the opportunity to go
and meet other teachers who got a gifted child in their classroom
to discuss things and give them some kind of support and how to
challenge these children.”
Aside from peer collaborations, teachers suggested
providing schools with more opportunities to work in
partnership with the government or with other private
institutions in coming up with activities to support the gifted
and the talented. More specifically, these institutions may
initiate national exhibitions, where students can showcase their
talents, or hold workshops and awareness programs for the
community, the school, and the families.
Teachers shared a good number of suggestions to help
schools boost their gifted programs. At the school level,
support may come in the form of acquiring resources, such as
assessment tools, and improving the efficiency of identification
and placement of gifted students. Teachers also see the value
of constantly reviewing the programs to be more responsive
to the gifted students’ changing needs. The schools may
also consider providing more workshops on giftedness for
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families and communities and organizing more in-school
enrichment programs.
The results of this qualitative study warrant some important
implications. Most of the teachers’ responses indicate that
gifted education services in preschools are still developing
and that there should be clear guidelines to identification and
service delivery. Teachers need more professional development
opportunities in the field of identification and enrichment
of gifted preschoolers. During these challenging times as
imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers struggled with
providing all students with appropriate schooling because of the
lockdown. Accordingly, online learning can play a significant
role in providing teachers with key tools that enable them to
identify and nurture giftedness in preschoolers. Examples of
online professional development opportunities might include
webinars, workshops, and academic conferences attendance.
Teachers should be given the opportunity to join professional
learning communities through which they can communicate
with their colleagues who have experience in gifted education.
Methodological integrity
As for maintaining the methodological integrity of this
study, the data collection included adequate data through
involving seven public schools to improve research fidelity
and including diverse general and special education teachers
in relation to the study goals. Also, the study findings
were contextualized within their appropriate content including
location and culture. The data led to insights pertinent to the
study goals and insightful analyses that promote the utility of
the research. As for the data analysis, the findings contribute
significantly toward the study goals. Also, the findings are
based on data that support understanding, which increases
research fidelity.
This study explores special education teachers about gifted
preschool education in Abu Dhabi. Thus, collecting similar
data from teachers in other UAE emirates might yield
different perspectives. Another limitation is the limited teachers’
experience in the field of gifted education in preschool settings.
Implications for future research
The implications of this study include the importance of
providing teachers with several opportunities for professional
development that can cater for regular and gifted students’
learning differentiated needs in the classroom. There is a
need to provide teachers with assessment tools with which
they can screen and nominate students with exceptional
abilities in classrooms. Moreover, enrichment programs can
be developed in collaboration between teachers and specialists
in the field (e.g., university professors and practitioners) to
promote preschoolers’ different skills. More research studies
are needed to promote the identification and enrichment
endeavors for preschool students with exceptional abilities and
how gifted preschoolers can transition smoothly from preschool
to regular schools.
Data availability statement
The raw data supporting the conclusions of this article will
be made available by the authors, without undue reservation.
Ethics statement
The studies involving human participants were
reviewed and approved by the Social Sciences Ethics
Committee of United Arab Emirates University (UAEU).
The patients/participants provided their written informed
consent to participate in this study.
Author contributions
Both authors listed have made a substantial, direct,
and intellectual contribution to the work, and approved it
for publication.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that the research was conducted in the
absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could
be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
Publisher’s note
All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the
authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated
organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the
reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article, or
claim that may be made by its manufacturer, is not guaranteed
or endorsed by the publisher.
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Frontiers in Psychology 12
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The purpose of this article was to investigate the conditions for identifying gifted children in their first encounter with the Swedish school system, the preschool. Interviews were conducted with 10 preschool teachers and 5 principals about their conceptions of giftedness and challenges in meeting the needs of gifted preschoolers in practice. The results explored a lack of knowledge on giftedness among the respondents. Thus, their conceptions of giftedness revealed several dilemmas they face when balancing preschool education between focusing on both the group and individual children, and naming someone as gifted in the strong discourse of egalitarian education in Sweden. The findings identified principals to have a key role in terms of if and how gifted children are supported in preschool settings and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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The purpose of this research was to examine the utility of psychometric and dynamic assessment for the identification of a twice-exceptional (2E) group of students who showed both mathematical high abilities and specific learning disabilities. Of a population of 800 students, 30 (14 boys and 16 girls) ages 10 to 12 years were selected and identified as twice-exceptional at three public elementary schools in Amman, the capital of Jordan. A combination of three psychometric tests and one dynamic math assessment tool was used to recognize the cognitive and perceptual characteristics strengths and difficulties among students. Both psychometric and dynamic assessment models were found important and complementary to one another for the identification of cognitive and perceptual characteristics of twice-exceptional children. The findings were reported and discussed.
Teachers’perceptions of their students affect the way they provide opportunities and support for learning. Given that Lebanon has no specific policy or formal school practices for gifted students, it is important to understand what factors might affect education provision to such students. In this study, I investigated perceptions of Lebanese primary school teachers in relation to gifted/highly able students and their education and sought to determine what factors affected these perceptions. I utilized qualitative and quantitative methods in the gathering of data from 281 teachers across three Lebanese governorates. Of the 281 teachers who completed the questionnaire, 12 also participated in the qualitative component, which involved individual semi-structured interviews. The findings suggest how the broader socio-economic cultural context within Lebanon appears to have influenced teachers’ perceptions and the choices made regarding the gifted education provision in classrooms.
Lebanon is a country that places a high value on education, with the culture specifically rewarding effort and achievement. Despite this, no educational policies for gifted students exist in the country. This article outlines findings from a mixed method case study investigating the perceptions of more than 280 Lebanese teachers about educational approaches used to identify and teach highly able/gifted primary school students. Findings acknowledge reservations among teacher participants in relation to offering special services for gifted students. Although the analysis illustrated an overall lack of awareness of practices that have been identified in international research as effective for identifying and providing for gifted students, there was ample evidence of the desire of teacher participants to become more informed about evidence-based practice. This suggests the time is ripe for a revised focus on gifted education in Teacher Education within Lebanon.
This article outlines findings of a study that investigated perceptions of Lebanese primary school teachers in relation to gifted/highly able students. While there are no specific policy or formal school practices for gifted students in Lebanon, education is nonetheless highly regarded. The aim of the study was to determine whether there were cultural differences in the way giftedness in students was perceived and supported by teachers at the primary school level in comparison to Western conceptualizations and provisions. A study utilizing qualitative and quantitative methods underpinned the gathering of data from 281 teachers across three governorates of Lebanon. Of the 281 teachers who completed the survey, 12 also participated in the qualitative component, which involved individual semistructured interviews. Findings suggested a generally positive attitude by teachers but also an acknowledgment of limited awareness of evidence based on Western understandings and practices associated with gifted education. The resultant data provided insights regarding the implementation of effective teacher education and concomitant support to improve identification.
In this study, it was aimed to investigate the view of gifted school teachers on educating the preschool-aged gifted and talented students. Study is grounded as a case-study which is a method in qualitative research area. Data is collected with semi-structured interview questions from 10 different gifted school teachers working in Balikesir, Turkey. Three different questions were posed during semi-structured interviews to clearly introduce the view of teachers. According to analysis results; it was achieved that all participants believe the necessity of an education for gifted and talented students starting from the preschool age. Beside this necessity, teachers were emphasized that given education should be supported with a proper curriculum, physical structure (buildings & classes, science & art materials etc.) and improved knowledge (in the field of educating preschool aged gifted and talented students) of the teachers. When the responses of teachers for 3 different questions were assessed, teachers which are working for the education of gifted and talented students(out of preschool age) are affirming their opinions that the education for the gifted and talented students should be started to given in preschool age.
This chapter discusses theories and conceptions of giftedness. First, it presents some of the history of these theories and conceptions—from domain-general to domain-specific to systems to developmental models. Then it reviews programs based on various conceptions of giftedness, including the theory of successful intelligence, the third-ring conception, Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY), and German models. Then it discusses the future of the field and finally it draws conclusions.