The Potential of Motion Pictures as a Non-Traditional Form of Pedagogical Information Relating to Working with Gifted Children
Authors: Marina A. Maznichenko, Nataliya I. Neskoromnykh, Anastasiya N. Platonova, Anvar M. Mamadaliev
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This paper aims to substantiate that working with gifted children may require pedagogues to adapt scholarly-theoretical knowledge to the individual characteristics and special educational needs of such children, which may require employing both traditional, i.e. scholarly (e.g., scholarly and instructional literature and information obtained in advanced training courses), and non-traditional, i.e. extra-scholarly (e.g., personal experience and intuition, colleagues’ experience and best practices from innovative pedagogues, folklore and folk pedagogy, works of literature and films about school and gifted children, spiritual-moral norms and values, and pedagogical mythology), forms of pedagogical information. The findings from a survey by questionnaire conducted by the authors revealed that in organizing their work with gifted children most pedagogues tend to rely on the exchange of experience with their colleagues (64.1 %) and reflection about their own pedagogical experience (38.5 %). It was found that 48.2 % tend to gain relevant knowledge through reading scholarly and instructional literature, and 33.3 % tend to do so through taking advanced training courses. Only 15.4 % of respondents were found to invoke pedagogical conceptualization of literary works and films about gifted children. At the same time, 70 % of respondents were found to believe that watching and conducting pedagogical analysis of films about gifted children can be of help to the pedagogue in building interaction with the gifted child. The paper explores the potential of motion pictures as a non-traditional form of pedagogical information relating to working with gifted children, which implies the possibility of invoking scholarly conceptualization of films with the aim of resolving the kind of objectives for working with gifted children for which there have yet to be produced scientifically rational pedagogical solutions and which require invoking pedagogical knowledge that content-wise is not scientifically conceptual and form-wise is not present in scholarly texts but is capable of functioning as a possible solution to achieve them. The work highlights the following key objectives: adjusting one’s professional position in working with gifted children; adapting scholarly-theoretical knowledge on pedagogy and psychology to the individual characteristics of and the specific conditions of teaching and educating gifted children; making moral assessments of one’s pedagogical actions in respect of gifted children; seeking to overcome difficulties in understanding and conceptualizing scholarly-theoretical knowledge; seeking to resolve various psychological issues (e.g., fears and anxiety, emotional exhaustion and frustration, psychological trauma, and animus toward a particular gifted child); seeking to resolve difficulties in engaging in reflection about one’s pedagogical actions. The authors employed problem analysis and expert assessment to select 12 domestic and foreign motion pictures that address relevant issues in working with gifted children and look at problems and difficulties that gifted children may experience. Only less than a third of the respondents were found to be familiar with these movies (2.6 to 35.9 %). The exception is the film ‘Scarecrow’. This may be associated with the fact that the launch of this movie was a significant event for the majority of Russians. The rest of the films, both Russian and foreign, which focus on equally important issues in working with gifted children, were found to have been overlooked by the participating pedagogues (e.g., ‘The Jester’, ‘Schedule for the Day After Tomorrow’, ‘When I Will Become a Giant’ (Russia), ‘Gifted’, ‘Little Man Tate’ (USA), ‘Billy Elliot’ (UK), ‘Vitus’ (Switzerland), ‘The Little Prince’ (France and Italy), and ‘Little Stars on Earth’ (India)). The findings suggest the need to engage future and practicing teachers in purposeful work involving the scholarly-pedagogical conceptualization of motion pictures and works of literature about gifted children and their problems in school and the mastering of relevant techniques for employing the results of such conceptualization in working with gifted children. The paper highlights the following key aspects of organizing this kind of work: criteria for selecting movies, methods for individual analysis of movies, organization of group discussions, and creation of collections of films focusing on various issues in working with gifted children. The insights from the research reported in this paper can be used by higher education institutions focused on the training of future pedagogues, curriculum developers in institutions of general learning and supplementary learning for children, and pedagogues working with gifted children.