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"Man's mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions."

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jnr


This section is designed to support teachers in identifying students who may demonstrate or have the potential to demonstrate " … exceptional abilities relative to most other people. These individuals have certain learning characteristics that give them the potential to achieve outstanding performance" (Ministry of Education, 2000).

Rather than providing a template for schools, material in this section is designed to assist schools to develop their own responsive identification procedures that reflect the character, diversity and priorities of the individual school and its community.

It is also worth noting that identification does not need to be the starting point – providing challenging and novel opportunities for all students can lead to the identification of gifted students through close observation of students’ responses. Students identified as gifted can then be appropriately catered for, while ongoing opportunities for other students to ‘self-identify’ continue to be provided throughout the school year.