Education of gifted children in Western Europe



The article presents the materials of the author’s report which examines the approaches to identification and education of gifted and talented pupils in the countries of Western and Eastern Europe (Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Hungary) and their historical development in the second half of the XXth century. The article notes the difference in understanding of the notion of giftedness in different countries and traces the practical implications of such theoretical differences. It analyzes the national legislative foundations of the education of the gifted and talented, educational policy, systems of contests and olympics, activities of private organizations. Attention is paid to both intra- and inter-school educational means. Basing on the analysis, the article makes conclusions about the diversity of forms of support of gifted children and improvement of conditions of their education.

General Information

Keywords: giftedness, talents, elitism, egalitarism, education, recommendations, legislation, reforms, initiatives

Journal rubric: Psychology of Giftedness

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Freeman J. Education of gifted children in Western Europe. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2011. Vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 63–73. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

Information About the Authors

Joan Freeman, professor, Founding President of the European Council for High Ability, ECHA, London, Great Britain, e-mail:



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