Gifted Learners

Tukuna kia rere

Principles for identification

The principles for identification listed below align with the vision and core principles for providing for gifted learners developed by the New Zealand Working Party on Gifted Education:

  • Base identification on a kura/school/ECE setting/Kāhui Ako-wide, clearly defined, multi-categorical, bicultural and multicultural concept of giftedness.
  • Kura/schools/ECE setting/Kāhui Ako should consider a Māori worldview in their identification processes, to honour the principles of the Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi).
  • Begin identification early; that is, during early childhood or at least during the junior classes at primary school.
  • Ensure there is open communication among parents/caregivers, whānau, learners, teachers, the principal, and the Board of Trustees, as well as between kura/schools/ECE setting/Kāhui Ako about the identification process.
  • Ensure that identification is an ongoing process. The interests and abilities of learners are constantly evolving, so teachers need to be alert to emerging abilities and talents. A responsive learning environment that offers challenging experiences is a catalyst for the identification of new abilities.
  • Look for potential as well as demonstrated performance. Responsive environments that offer choice and value multiple ways of expression, including online, can provide greater insights into potential than less responsive contexts.
  • Use a team approach in which a number of teachers and school leaders coordinate the identification programme on a kura/school/ECE setting/Kāhui Ako-wide basis. The team should include input from others with an interest and concern in the development of the learners, such as parents, whānau and iwi.
  • Use a culturally responsive approach, ensuring that the diversity of learners identified as gifted matches the diversity of the kura/school/ECE setting/Kāhui Ako population.
  • Ensure that your approach includes a focus on the ‘hidden gifted’ and under-served groups. These can include minority cultural and ethnic groups; those for whom English is a second language; underachievers; those with learning or sensory disorders and physical disabilities; and those from lower socio-economic groups. Pay attention to gender differences.
  • Begin a sound identification process early, be continuous, incorporate a team approach, be as unobtrusive as possible and take an inclusive approach that will benefit as diverse a range of learners as possible.
  • Employ a wide range of quantitative and qualitative methods in the identification process, with the data drawn together to facilitate overall judgements about the current performance of learners and their potential to improve. In the identification process, include the perspectives of the learners themselves, their parents and whānau, and others with an interest in the development of the learners.
  • Ensure that information for identification is from a multi-method approach and is based on observation in a range of authentic settings and through talking with learners, rather than just on formal assessment tasks.
  • Ensure that identification methods are responsive to the many potential areas of giftedness.
  • Provide staff with any professional development they need to create and implement the identification processes.
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