A students' perspective of the effect of withdrawal programming in New Zealand primary schools : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Education at Massey University
Gifted and talented students have a voice and their own perceptions of their involvement in programmes aimed at catering for their unique abilities. This study examines withdrawal programmes within New Zealand primary schools from the participating students' perspectives. This research makes a valuable contribution to this limited research in this field and provides useful information and recommendations for teachers of primary schools when planning to implement withdrawal programmes aimed at catering for the needs of our gifted and talented children. The study concluded that: • In the schools studied for the purposes of this research the teachers had a crucial role to play in identifying these gifted and talented children. While all three schools identified with a broad notion of giftedness and talent their identification procedures were not consistent with this broad notion, incorporating teacher nomination as a primary means. • Each withdrawal programme was very unique to each particular school and the majority of all children interviewed spoke in very positive terms about their involvement in the withdrawal programmes. The majority of the children found the withdrawal programme fun and commented on the provision of choice and opportunities that weren't offered back in the regular classroom. • It can not be concluded from this research that withdrawal programmes are a viable and valuable tool in relation to meeting the educational needs of these children. The question remains that while one can plan for enrichment in a withdrawal programme, one must question whether the programme is actually challenging and extending the abilities of these children. Unless we provide rigorous programmes for our gifted and talented students the talents and abilities of these children will be wasted. These children are our future and we need to be providing programmes that challenge and extend their current abilities so that these children can realise and achieve to their full potential in our society. These children have special gifts and talents and deserve the right to an education that meets their needs and challenges their abilities to allow them to achieve to this full potential, and be successful members of our society in the future.