Teachers’ Perception of Giftedness and Talent Among Primary School Children
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The study was undertaken to explore teachers' perceptions of giftedness among primary school children with a view to improve the identification and education of gifted and talented children: Using a sample of 74 primary school teachers selected at random in Chitungwiza District in Zimbabwe and a questionnaire, the study established that teachers perceived giftedness in terms of academic achievement. Teachers revealed that they regarded intellectual/academic domain as the essential dimension of giftedness. This was reflected in both the characteristics teachers attributed to giftedness and the methods they adopt to develop giftedness and talents in children. The study also showed that apart from teaching qualification, variable factors like gender, teaching experience and type of training college one went to did not influence teachers' perceptions of giftedness in children. The study therefore proposed the following recommendations; • • that teacher education curriculum should expand teachers' understanding of giftedness in a broad sense that includes non- traditional giftedness; • that identification and education of gifted and talented children should be formalised right from the grassroots of the educational ladder; • that multi-dimensional techniques of identifying gifted and talented children (recommended by Hardway and Marek-Schroer, 1992) be adopted as they have' tf greater chance of identifying various categories of giftedness in children; • That student teachers in colleges be involved in Curriculum Depth Study (CDS) on some aspects of identifying and teaching gifted and talented children; and • That each school should have special programmes for identifying. and developing giftedness,and talent in children.