|NEW ZEALAND'S EDUCATION
Good news for Gifted Awareness Week 2016! A nationwide research project has been announced around what is actually happening, and what those involved at the coalface really think about the state of gifted education in Aotearoa New Zealand. giftEDnz, The Professional Association for Gifted Education, will be conducting a nationwide research project that will explore the current state of gifted education across New Zealand from a diverse range of perspectives. This research will aim to capture the voices of educators across all sectors (from early childhood education through to tertiary), as well as parents, whānau, other stakeholders, and gifted young people themselves.
Dr Louise Tapper, the Chair of giftEDnz, says that “it is well past time for this kind of research. The last major nationwide exploration of the state of gifted education in New Zealand was the Riley et al. study of 2004. We really need to find out where we are at 12 years down the track.” One of the aims of Riley et al.’s study was to identify “strengths and gaps” in provision for gifted learners in order to inform future directions in gifted and talented education, and this current research project will have a similar focus. Associate Professor Tracy Riley is very excited to see another major research study of this nature. She says, “There have been many changes in education since our Ministry of Education-funded study was undertaken over a decade ago. It will be exciting to see what impact the changes have had upon our gifted students in New Zealand.” One such change is the increasingly diverse cultural and social groups that engage with New Zealand schools, and this planned study aims to make this a focal point.
giftEDnz, with the support of the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education (NZCGE) and the New Zealand Association for Gifted Children (NZAGC), intends to have the first phase of this nationwide research ready to go in the second half of 2016. Deb Walker, CEO from NZCGE, says her organisation is keen to support nationwide research in gifted education. “We encourage teachers, other professionals, parents and students to get involved and have your say about what you believe is working well, what you feel could be improved, and where you would like to see provisions for gifted and talented learners heading in the future.”
New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education