Early Childhood Gifted Education: Pathways to Equity

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "Early Childhood Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 17998

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
College of Education, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
Interests: gifted education; creativity; high-achieving students; access and equity to advanced learning opportunities; early childhood education; project-based learning
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

We know that access to high-quality early childhood learning experiences has a long-term impact on children’s lives, including higher academic achievement, greater access to post-secondary education, and jobs that result in higher incomes in adult life. However, historically, early childhood gifted education has mostly been accessed and implemented for young students who have had opportunities to engage in early academic activities. These students typically “test” well on measures of cognitive ability and demonstrate advanced academic skills, thereby creating an equity of opportunity gap from the earliest entrance into schools. This Special Issue, entitled “Early Childhood Gifted Education: Pathways to Equity”, is an opportunity for scholars within and outside of the field of gifted education to explore and share studies that have demonstrated that high-quality early learning experiences and pedagogy that elicits children’s strengths as starting points for growth provide equitable access to advanced learning opportunities for all young children. 

The purpose of this issue is to examine through critical perspectives the current research that highlights how high-quality early education can contribute to developing the strengths and talents of children from diverse backgrounds that will ultimately lead to reducing achievement and equity gaps that are present in current K-12 education. This issue is situated within the growing body of early childhood literature that examines social and cultural concepts of “kindergarten readiness” and policy issues that impact current accountability systems for funded programs. The editor of this Special Issue will particularly seek articles related to the relationship between policies and systems that influence choices for curriculum and instruction and how those choices influence outcomes for young children. 

Prof. Nancy Hertzog
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Early childhood
  • Gifted
  • Equity
  • Critical perspectives

Published Papers (3 papers)

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14 pages, 966 KiB  
Article
Understanding Different Approaches to ECE Pedagogy through Tensions
by Jonna Kangas, Tuulikki Ukkonen-Mikkola, Heidi Harju-Luukkainen, Samuli Ranta, Heidi Chydenius, Jaana Lahdenperä, Marita Neitola, Jarmo Kinos, Nina Sajaniemi and Inkeri Ruokonen
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 790; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11120790 - 4 Dec 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 7171
Abstract
The concept of pedagogy is the key to understanding pedagogy in early childhood education (ECE) in the Nordic countries, which are known for their high quality of life and education. However, in ECE, there are several different approaches toward pedagogy and it can [...] Read more.
The concept of pedagogy is the key to understanding pedagogy in early childhood education (ECE) in the Nordic countries, which are known for their high quality of life and education. However, in ECE, there are several different approaches toward pedagogy and it can be said that pedagogy is a multidimensional and dynamic concept. In this paper, the different approaches to pedagogy are defined and reconceptualized through an integrative literature analysis focusing on scientific papers and research reports of the concept. Five approaches to pedagogy were constructed: pedagogy through interaction, pedagogy through scaffolding, pedagogy through didactics, pedagogy through expertise, and pedagogy through future orientation. The identified tensions and elements within the five approaches are presented. Finally, the shared elements among these pedagogical approaches are presented in a dynamic model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Childhood Gifted Education: Pathways to Equity)
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19 pages, 1231 KiB  
Case Report
Milwaukee Makes a Difference: Recognizing Gifted Students from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families
by Susan O’Brien, Mary Ruth Coleman, Dorothy L. Schuller, Martha A. López and German Díaz
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11100578 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2385
Abstract
Gifted education today faces a significant challenge in reaching equity as well as excellence. This is reflected in the disproportionate underrepresentation of children from Black, Hispanic, Native, and low-income families. This pattern of underrepresentation within programs for students with gifts and talents is [...] Read more.
Gifted education today faces a significant challenge in reaching equity as well as excellence. This is reflected in the disproportionate underrepresentation of children from Black, Hispanic, Native, and low-income families. This pattern of underrepresentation within programs for students with gifts and talents is pervasive and pernicious and impacts gifted education programming across all 50 states in the United States of America. This article describes the efforts of Milwaukee Public Schools, a large urban school district in Wisconsin, to address the need for both equity and excellence within their gifted education programming. The U~STRARS~PLUS model formed the foundation for changing the culture of the schools from “at risk” to “at potential”. Dedicated leadership and the combination of securing external support, developing internal trust, and building capacity across the district were critical to creating a strength-based focus within the schools. While the journey is not over, the authors hope that others can learn from Milwaukee’s experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Childhood Gifted Education: Pathways to Equity)
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19 pages, 1498 KiB  
Article
Child-Centred Teaching: Helping Each Child to Reach Their Full Potential
by Maria Nicholas, Elizabeth Rouse and Louise Paatsch
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060280 - 7 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 7587
Abstract
Research has shown that schoolteachers often prepare children for success in standardized reading assessments by ‘teaching to the test.’ Concurrently, research exploring children’s emergent literacies and ‘school readiness’ has shown that early childhood teachers often feel pressured to ‘prepare’ children for school and [...] Read more.
Research has shown that schoolteachers often prepare children for success in standardized reading assessments by ‘teaching to the test.’ Concurrently, research exploring children’s emergent literacies and ‘school readiness’ has shown that early childhood teachers often feel pressured to ‘prepare’ children for school and may do so by focusing on print-related literacies, to the detriment of earlier stages of the oral-to-print continuum. This raises the concern that teaching children as a group, preparing them for the next ‘stage of education,’ will disadvantage children who are working below or above expected levels of development. Our study explores the teaching approaches used with a group of foundation-year children who achieved more advanced reading outcomes than children from four adjacent classrooms in their first year of schooling. We collected the reading and letter-identification outcomes of 16 children in the teacher’s foundation-year class and interviewed her about her practices. Findings showed that the teacher used her knowledge of what the children should achieve in standardized assessments as a minimum expectation and moved beyond the content of such assessments when warranted, as determined by informal assessments. As a result, every child in the class met, and many exceeded, minimum reading standards by year’s end. We conclude that using an individualized, child-centred pedagogy, informed by a combination of standardized and informal assessments, allowed the teacher to support her students to develop a range of reading abilities and to reach their full potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Childhood Gifted Education: Pathways to Equity)
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