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Core principles

Gifted and talented practice in New Zealand aligns with the vision for young people identified in The New Zealand Curriculum

As the curriculum explains, New Zealand educators aim to develop young people:

  • who will be creative, energetic, and enterprising
  • who will seize the opportunities offered by new knowledge and technologies to secure a sustainable social, cultural, economic, and environmental future for our country
  • who will work to create an Aotearoa New Zealand in which Māori and Pākehā recognise each other as full Treaty partners, and in which all cultures are valued for the contributions they bring
  • who, in their school years, will continue to develop the values, knowledge, and competencies that will enable them to live full and satisfying lives
  • who will be confident, connected, actively involved, and lifelong learners

 (Ministry of Education, 2007)

Gifted and talented practice in New Zealand should emerge from culturally responsive classrooms

Angus Macfarlane's Educultural Wheel is one model of a culturally responsive classroom (see toolbox).

Gifted and talented practice in New Zealand should reflect a multi dimensional approach

Identification should be directly connected to how the school conceptualises giftedness and talent. A model that schools could consider and one that connects to the principles and practices advocated is Françoys Gagné's model of giftedness (DMGT) which demands a multi dimensional approach to identification (see toolbox).

The DMGT also recognises that giftedness requires certain environmental circumstances to be recognised. Central to these circumstances are teachers and their ability to recognise giftedness and talent. This also requires an appreciation that gifts may exist in a small number of more general areas but that their expression as talents may be much more specific in nature.

Gifted and talented practice is expected in all schools in New Zealand


Each board of trustees is required to foster student achievement by providing teaching and learning programmes which incorporate The National Curriculum as expressed in The New Zealand Curriculum 2007 or Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

Each board, through the principal and staff, is required to:

(c) on the basis of good quality assessment information, identify students and groups of students:

  1. who are not achieving;
  2. who are at risk of not achieving;
  3. who have special needs (including gifted and talented students); and
  4. aspects of the curriculum which require particular attention;

(d) develop and implement teaching and learning strategies to address the needs of students and aspects of the curriculum identified in (c) above