'I don't think I'm a boy!' Social understanding and giftedness in preschoolers



Publication Details

Vialle, W. (2012). 'I don't think I'm a boy!' Social understanding and giftedness in preschoolers. In H. Stoeger, A. Aljughaiman & B. Harder (Eds.), Talent development and excellence (pp. 117-134). Berlin: LIT-Verlag.


Australian school systems have policies that permit accelerative options to meet the needs of students identified with gifted potential. However, practice demonstrates that this accelerative option is often negatively regarded by decisionmakers and, consequently, is infrequently implemented. Reasons for not allowing early entry, for example, focus more on the child's social, emotional or physical development than their intellectual readiness. While there is research exploring this conundrum, the voice of parents is under-researched. This chapter presents the case studies of two four-year-old preschoolers who were purposively selected for the study. Both were suitable candidates for early entry, but their parents in each case were advised against early entry by preschool personnel. These case studies illustrate the complex interplay of social understanding, emotional maturity and intellectual precocity in young children. They illustrate the need for better training of Early Childhood teachers so that they can appropriately respond to the needs of such individuals.

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