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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Documentation and gifted young children : a Reggio Emilia inspired study Lee, Soyoung

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to understand what the roles of documentation for gifted young children are, and how educators perceive, assess and promote children's giftedness through documentation. A questionnaire and interviews were used to gather data from fourteen early childhood teachers who adopted the Reggio Emilia approach in their classes in North America. This study has resulted in a broad range of findings, among which are that documentation promotes gifted children to learn in depth by revisiting and remembering their work and by generating their interests. At the same time, teachers thought that documentation promotes gifted children's metacognitive skills and social interaction with peers. In addition, documentation appeared to take various roles for teachers. Teachers could be aware of children's capabilities, and prepare curriculum/projects for the next steps by observing, listening, and researching children's thoughts and ideas during the procedure of documentation. In terms of teachers' conceptions of giftedness in young children, teachers appeared to have various conceptions of giftedness rather than one common conception. Generally most of teachers in this study appeared to be aware of young gifted children. However, a few educators showed negative attitudes and definitions of giftedness which seemed to result in failure to identify gifted children and their characteristics in their class. This study suggests that documentation helps teachers to recognize children's potential, and to be ready for children's further learning; also in this way, gifted children can learn deeply, interacting with peers through documentation. Findings also show that, in order for this to occur, there is need for teachers to be open to young children's giftedness.

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