Gifted Early Readers’ Health Development and Well-Being: A Survey on Teachers’ Attitudes, Beliefs, Knowledge and Pedagogical Practices in the Regular Classroom

Main Article Content

Julia Festman


Children’s well-being at school has only recently attracted much attention, in particular when linked to school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the assumption being that children feel well when being able to go to school. However, gifted early readers (i.e., those who have learned to read all by themselves and show good reading skills already at the beginning of primary education) are known to be rather bored in particular in reading lessons if their skills are not promoted according to their accelerated development and needs. Teachers’ lack of knowledge how to provide adequate support for gifted early readers has been linked to detrimental effects on these children’s development and may lead to their school underachievement at early and/or later stages of formal education.

In this paper, we aim to shed light onto teachers’ attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge when dealing with gifted early readers in primary school education to find out whether their pedagogical actions in a regular classroom are adequate to meet the gifted early readers’ needs.

In an online questionnaire, primary school teachers from Austria (N = 41) who had active experience with early readers were asked to respond to eleven subscales covering child-, teacher-, and school-related factors as well as pedagogical actions in relation to gifted early readers in primary school on a 5-point Likert-scale.

The results showed that teachers’ positive attitudes towards children’s advanced skills and beliefs were child-oriented and supportive in general and that they were interested in the child’s competences and reading habits. Their actions were in general not inducing bullying. However, their pedagogical actions did not seem to meet the children’s needs what might be due to a lack of specific knowledge about gifted children, and early readers in particular.

Teachers in primary school need professional development opportunities such as training courses for the gifted early readers in order to gain more in-depth knowledge about these children’s needs and how these can be met with adequate pedagogical actions in the regular classroom, how their skills and knowledge can be best promoted to grant healthy development and to prevent boredom, bullying and academic underachievement.

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How to Cite
FESTMAN, Julia. Gifted Early Readers’ Health Development and Well-Being: A Survey on Teachers’ Attitudes, Beliefs, Knowledge and Pedagogical Practices in the Regular Classroom. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 8, sep. 2023. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 27 may 2024. doi:
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