Prepared and trained teachers are important. Should we change their education so that gifted children could advance alongiside them or is there fear of the development of the gifted?

Presenter(s): Jasna Arrigoni

<p style="text-align: justify;">Teacher attitudes about gifted individuals and their education are key to implementing systematically organized support in a particular education system. It is often the case that teachers positively point out positive attitudes towards the gifted, but at the conative, action level, they are not prepared to personally engage in carrying out planned activities. The question is why this is the case. What makes teachers give up on the active participation in the implementation of special programs at the crucial moment of immediate action? Are the reasons only in the insufficient professional preparation of the teacher? How are gifted individuals developing in communities that have not initiated an organized gifted and talented support system? How can the education system and the social environment be impacted so that they introduce such programs?</p>

<p style="text-align: justify;">The aim of the research was to determine the degree of personal readiness of elementary school teachers in the Republic of Croatia to conduct a planned curriculum for gifted pupils and its connectedness with initial teacher education and their professional development in the field of gifted education. The survey was conducted on 412 elementary school teachers in the four largest cities in the Republic of Croatia by means of a specially structured questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of 34 items about the personal readiness of the teacher to conduct the planned curriculum for the gifted and 10 items about the education and training of the teacher for work with the gifted. The factor analysis yielded three subcalves, and Spearman's correlation points to a statistically significant correlation between the teacher's personal readiness and teacher education and training. Teachers who are prepared to engage in the planned activities for the gifted also have a more positive attitude towards education and training. Teachers with fewer years of working experience (from 6 to 15 years) are more prepared than those with more years of work experience. The results obtained are significant for higher education institutions involved in initial teacher education and for agencies responsible for the professional development of teachers. The paper also discusses the views of local authorities towards encouraging gifted and talented and their role in developing inclusive access to gifted education and encouraging the appropriate education of teachers to work with gifted and talented people.</p>