Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about giftedness
How are children with high abilities recognized in the Kita?
Preschool children are at an age where they develop their first specific interests—often through exploration and playful encounters with an object or an activity. Ideally, they can find out what suits them best by taking advantage of the wide range of activities and stimuli provided by the Kita. However, to identify whether a child is particularly gifted in a specific area, it is necessary to provide activities that allow children to test themselves at different levels of difficulty, regardless of their age. Suitable activities are those that place varying demands on the children and give them the freedom to decide how they want to participate. Consequently, how the support programs in Kitas are designed already represents an important prerequisite for the recognition of specific abilities and talents.
Furthermore, identifying giftedness should be understood as a process. Young children develop very differently. A child’s accelerated development in one or more areas can also be an expression of a temporary developmental advantage over peers. It is therefore important to observe and assess a child’s development continuously and over a longer period of time. Methods that focus on children’s activities and learning and which are utilized routinely are particularly appropriate. Together with colleagues and parents, these observations of a child can then be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
First indications of potential giftedness can be a strong sense of curiosity and a high learning ability at the same time. Young gifted children are often identified by their intense and persistent interest in knowledge, remarkable ability to grasp things very quickly, extraordinary capacity to retain information, and rapid development of competencies. They also often demonstrate a high level of determination and perseverance in their efforts to acquire knowledge or new skills. Developmentally, targeted interests are still rare at preschool age, but an early, intense interest may indicate a high domain-specific ability for this very reason.
The question “How can gifted children be identified in the Kita?” is explored in more detail in the Karg Foundation´s special edition, “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about giftedness in early childhood”.