Date of Award

Fall 12-13-2020

Document Type

Education 590 Project

Degree Name

Master of Education



Department Chair or Program Director

Huffman, Jane

First Advisor

Guth, Nancy

Major or Concentration




Past research has explored how young children express giftedness as well as how parents and teachers can best meet the needs of these children once they have been identified. However, there is a distinct lack of literature on what parents and teachers actually know about how giftedness manifests in the youngest learners. This research investigates the background knowledge that teachers and parents of preschoolers hold on the notion of giftedness. Parents and teachers of young children were surveyed using online survey software by contacting a diverse set of private preschools within the Northern Virginia area. Parents and teachers at those schools responded to the survey. This research shows that parents and teachers are able to recognize gifted traits when they are presented in a stereotypical way, but lack the insight to recognize “negative” traits or asynchronous development. Implications for further research are discussed, as well as the possibility of providing literature to preschools that will help broaden the information base of parents and teachers about giftedness in young children.

Keywords: gifted, young children, preschool, gifted traits, teacher training, parent and teacher understanding