Teacher perceptions of a pilot process for identifying intellectually gifted 6- and 7-year-old children in the classroom
Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented
School of Education
There is a need to identify young gifted children so that their cognitive and socio-emotional needs may be better met by teachers and schools. This study reports on Australian teachers' perceptions of the benefits and limitations associated with the use of a multiple assessment instrument process for identifying intellectually gifted 6- and 7-year-old children in the classroom. The process included the use of the Gifted Characteristics Parent Questionnaire (GCPQ), the Gifted Characteristics Teacher Questionnaire (GCTQ), Achievement in the Early Years Test (AEY Test), and Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices. Thirteen teachers from six metropolitan schools in an Australian city completed a Post Implementation Questionnaire to obtain their views on the implementation of the classroom-based identification process for gifted children. Data from five, multiple part open-ended questions were analysed using both thematic analysis techniques and content analysis. The findings of the study indicated several teachers' perceived benefits, including the capacity for the process to focus teachers on the individual child as a learner, and for the information collected by the various instruments to inform and direct teaching. The majority of teachers (85%) supported the formal testing format used in the AEY Test. Some limitations of the process related to equity of access for families with low English literacy levels and perceived subjectivity by both parents and teachers. This study suggested that a classroom-based, whole of population process for identifying gifted children could be effectively administered by teachers, in their classrooms, in a time- and cost-effective way with direct application to teaching and learning programs.