While I don’t really agree with the concept of ‘bright’, let alone ‘exceptionally bright’, I do like the approach Ann Gadzikowski takes to early years science (if I allow myself to overwrite ‘exceptionally bright children’ with ‘children who are succeeding’ or some other, more dynamic image). Gadzikowski writes:
“Children who are exceptionally bright in the area of science [read, doing well in science assessment?!] are likely very observant, carefully watching all kinds of phenomena in the natural world. They notice how things grow or how our bodies work, and they look under lids or rocks, noting the diversity and intricacy of the world around them. They may demonstrate an intense and focused curiosity about certain things, such as a the child who, on a class field trip to a farm, refuses to move away from the incubator, determined to stay and watch every detail of a chick hatching from an egg. Children with scientific minds may be extraordinarily curious about technology and mechanics, observing how things are built, how they work, and how to fix things that are broken.
Throughout history, many great scientists, including Marie Curie and Thomas Edison, have been remembered as demonstrating unusually intense levels of curiosity as young children. Albert Einstein often told the story of his fascination, at just four years old, with the workings of a magnetic compass. He felt that there had to be ‘something behind things, something deeply hidden’. Like Einstein, young children with an unusual aptitude for science are intense and curious observers.” (p.97)
“In addition to curiosity,” she continues, “some other personality traits you might see in children with an exceptional talent for science include:
- risk taking
- independence” (pp97-98)
Ref: Ann Gadzikowski (2013) Challenging Exceptionally Bright Children in Early Childhood Classrooms. Redleaf Press: St. Paul, MN; NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children): Washington