Teacher Training Programs for Gifted Education with Focus on Sustainability

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Abstract

Scholars, psychologists, and teachers from around the world have been dealing with the topic of giftedness for many years. Also in Slovakia, development of giftedness is a highly topical issue and gifted education has earned its place in the current curricular documents issued by the Ministry of Education. The national curriculum specifies education objectives, teaching plans, requirements for personnel, organizational and material-technological requirements for gifted education. However, the personnel requirements are problematic not only in Slovakia, but also in other countries. Most attention is paid to identification and development of gifted children, but very little consideration is given to the training of teachers for gifted children. The lack of justifying teacher training does not guarantee sustainability of gifted education. The aim of this paper is to map and describe gifted education, teacher training programs and qualifications for teachers of intellectually gifted pupils in Slovakia, Austria, Belgium and Finland. These countries were chosen because of very different perceptions of the gifted education and teacher training. These systems are compared and a proposal for sustainable teacher training is offered.

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