Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about giftedness in early childhood
Why are project-based activities particularly suitable for supporting children with high ability?
Project-based learning is particularly well suited for providing shared learning experiences for children with different learning requirements and abilities. For gifted children, working in projects meets their needs for independent learning with a strong level of involvement, but also their intense desire to deepen their knowledge. In addition, participating in cooperative projects encourages children to take responsibility for the process and to negotiate their learning paths with each other (and with the adults who are involved as well).
Certain conditions must be met when using projects to satisfy the learning needs of high-ability children: Project activities focus primarily on topics that are particularly interesting to the children. This means that they are involved in both choosing the topic and planning the project. Projects are open-ended, and there is always a risk of failure, a fact that children find motivating. Ideas for projects very often arise from everyday situations, which stimulates children’s learning enthusiasm and learning behavior in particular. Projects should therefore be compatible with the children’s interests and existing knowledge. This allows the children to contribute their own expertise and ensures that each child’s interests and strengths are integrated into the overall project structure. It is important that children are largely free to decide on the content, working methods, and resources they will use in their project. It is the responsibility of the educators to deliberately encourage children’s thinking and cognitive processes via an interactive dialog with the children, for example, by asking the “right” questions and reflecting on the learning that is taking place, which helps to draw children’s attention to the learning experience.