An investigation into how Māori students who are gifted and talented are identified in mainstream schools : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Education at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
This study examined the current practices used by 11 schools in one region of Aotearoa New Zealand when identifying Māori students who are gifted and talented. It sought to establish and discuss definitions and identification procedures schools are using as well as the barriers and challenges that schools face when attempting to identify Māori students who are gifted and talented.
A multi-method approach to gathering data was used. Survey research methodology was used to gain information from principals and teachers in charge of gifted and talented education. Content analysis was used to analyse the policies and documents the schools used when identifying gifted and talented students to cross-reference and add to data gathered through the survey.
The key finding of this study was that the identification of Māori students who are gifted and talented was an area that the majority of sample schools were not confident in. Several of the schools involved in the research indicated this was an area they were pursuing professional development and learning in. The research indicates that although some schools have definitions and identification practices which are culturally responsive, their practices are not resulting in the formal identification of the numbers of gifted and talented Māori students that are suggested by the literature.
The research concludes that culturally responsive environments are the most appropriate way of generating effective identification practices, but in order to create these teachers need to have the knowledge and expertise required. As the main barrier to culturally responsive identification of Māori students who are gifted and talented is the lack of teacher expertise and knowledge, there is a major need for ongoing professional development and learning in this area.