Inclusivity and inclusion are crucial components of the Early Years Learning Framework in Australia (AGDE, 2022). In all Aboriginal language groups in Australia, aspects of spiritual, linguistic and spatial abilities are considered essential. It is essential to recognize and appreciate the learning requirements and needs of gifted children to support their early learning. Where individual learners exhibit diversity in language ability and learning styles, concepts of worth, inclusion and dignity are considered relevant (Slater, 2018). An inclusive early learning environment values human dignity and worth and places significant value on individual learners’ experiences and access to learning resources. Gifted children exhibit significant differences in learning features from their colleagues.
Summary of current research
Recognition of gifted children does not aim to present them as being more valuable than other children. On the other hand, recognizing children with various forms of disabilities is not aimed at presenting them as inferior or less valuable. Recognizing gifted and talented children plays a significant role in the assessment of specialized learning requirements and in enhancing social justice (Kronborg, 2018). Talented and gifted children in Australia have unique learning needs and requirements that require teachers to adopt a constructive learning approach.
In the contemporary education systems in Australia, some people use the concepts of talent and gifted interchangeably. Gifted children refer to children unique with unique learning and reasoning ability in various domains such as language, music and mathematics (Walsh & Jolly, 2018). The concepts are used to refer to children with exceptional abilities. However, on one hand, talented learners exhibit high creative ability, while gifted children exhibit high ability in academics (Kronborg, 2018). Gifted children refer to children with special disabilities or special needs. The concepts of gifted learners refer to highly creative and imaginative learners with strong problem-solving skills at an early age.
Gifted and talented children achieve major development milestones earlier than their colleagues at the same age, especially in language development. They are fast learners in mastering new toys and exhibit a lower threshold for boredom. Gifted children exhibit high emotional sensitivity and tend to form new relationships with older children (Margrain & Lundqvist, 2019). They exhibit high creativity and innovation skills; their play ideas are complex and tend to puzzle other peers. The other interesting characteristic of gifted children is excellent memory and a long concentration span. They tend to recall past events in detail. During the early stages of growth and development, gifted children exhibit the unique capability to create jokes, stories and rhymes. Gifted children tend to amaze educators due to their high level of curiosity, that enable them to use advanced vocabulary (Kronborg & Cornejo-Araya, 2018). Compared to their peers, gifted children tend to learn and understand new concepts and materials in class rather fast.
Gifted children face challenges in coping with classroom learning demands, volume and rigour. These challenges translate into declining academic outcomes and frustration in learning (AGDE, 2022). This phenomenon creates a demotivating learning environment which undermines the self-esteem and self-confidence of gifted learners. Gifted children show exceptional capability in academic performance and creativity (Margrain & Lundqvist, 2019). Educators have an obligation to ensure these children access unique learning resources to promote their exceptional abilities and creativity. One of the major challenges in the development of inclusive programs for gifted learners is the limitation in educators’ training programs. As a result, educators tend to ignore giftedness. The other challenge is denying gifted children an opportunity to demonstrate their potential (Merrotsy, 2017). Gifted learners excel in various areas, for example, in sports, arts and academics. For instance, a child with perfect mastery of vocabulary and unique mathematical ability would also exhibit artistic talent. Gifted children experience challenges in socializing with their peers, which leads to social isolation. They also tend to be misunderstood by their peers and teachers. There are several differences between talented and gifted children. On one hand, talented learners exhibit high creative ability, while gifted children exhibit high ability in academics. There is also a significant difference between talented children and gifted children.
Organization and strategies
Educators have a significant role to play in supporting gifted learning. In the Australian Early Years Learning Framework, teacher’s interaction with learners is crucial in recognizing individual learner’s unique capability and potential (AGDE, 2022). Educators can support gifted children through the creation of a favourable learning environment where all learners feel respected and appreciated. Educators also play a crucial role in supporting gifted children through early identification to ensure that gifted children have access to appropriate support and education opportunities (Smith, 2017). Early identification also ensures that gifted children from vulnerable communities are not ignored. Teachers should also incorporate play programs to incite gifted learners to learn and exploit their discovery potential. Educators also play a crucial role in promoting collaboration between various stakeholders in Australian Early years learning Framework. These collaborations should be characterized by respectful and open communication. Teachers should also incorporate families in documentation of learner’s interests and experiences.
Families have a crucial role to play in the identification of gifted children. Research findings indicate that the family can help in identifying giftedness in children before they join school. Gifted children exhibit unique capabilities and potential even before joining school (Walsh & Jolly, 2018). Parents and caregivers should be keen to observe children for spontaneous behaviors and how they react to situations. Gifted children tend to exhibit high demand for stimulation and attention at an early age.
There are several organizations and services that help in supporting learning experiences for gifted children in Australia. One of the organizations in Australia that support talented and gifted learners is the Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented. The organization deploys a collaborative and evidence based advocacy and leadership in facilitating education access to favorable learning environment (Kronborg, 2018). The organization considers gifted children as those that exhibit unique characteristics at school and at home. The organization recognized the role of parents and teachers in the identification of gifted learners. Professional development programs for educators are also crucial in ensuring that gifted learners access appropriate learning opportunities, environment and resources that align with their abilities and academic potential.
Australia has achieved significant milestones in the identification of gifted children and providing a suitable learning environment for them. This is a crucial move in embracing diversity and inclusivity in Early Years Learning Framework in Australia. Gifted children refer to learners who exhibit higher or much more unique capabilities and learning potential compared to their peers. Early identification ensures that these cleaners have access to essential learning resources to boost their creativity in learning. Gifted children are vulnerable to social isolation and face difficulties developing relations with their peers. Educators have an obligation to facilitate collaboration with parents to facilitate identification of gifted children in early years of growth and development. The Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented organization plays a significant role in ensuring that gifted learners have access to appropriate learning resources.
Slater, E. (2018). The identification of gifted children in Australia: The importance of policy. TalentEd, 30(2018), 1-16.
Kronborg, L. (2018). Gifted education in Australia and New Zealand.
Margrain, V., & Lundqvist, J. (2019). Talent development in preschool curriculum and policies: Implicit recognition of young gifted children. Challenging Democracy in Early Childhood Education: Engagement in Changing Global Contexts, 41-55.
Kronborg, L., & Cornejo-Araya, C. A. (2018). Gifted educational provisions for gifted and highly able students in Victorian schools, Australia. Universitas Psychologica, 17(5), 1-14.
Merrotsy, P. (2017). Gagné’s differentiated model of giftedness and talent in Australian education. Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, 26(2), 29-42.
Smith, S. (2017). Responding to the unique social and emotional learning needs of gifted Australian students. Social and emotional learning in Australia and the Asia-Pacific: Perspectives, programs and approaches, 147-166.
Walsh, R. L., & Jolly, J. L. (2018). Gifted education in the Australian context. Gifted Child Today, 41(2), 81-88.
AGDE (2022) BELONGING, BEING & BECOMING: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia V2.0, 2022. Retrieved from https://www.acecqa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-01/EYLF-2022-V2.0.pdf.