105 results

  • From the playful to the profound: What metaphors tell us about gifted children

    Fraser, Deborah (2003)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Although some metaphors have lost their novelty through overuse, the unexpected quality of other metaphors appeal to creatively gifted children given their proctivity for language and imagination. The unexpected connections that comprise metaphor manifest the creative process and can give rise to innovative expressions and concepts. Creatively gifted children have an extraordinary facility with metaphor, using these expressions in ways that reveal advanced metalinguistic ability. In addition, the metaphors they create reflect a wealth of ability from profound emotional and spiritual dimensions to playful and humorous insights into the human condition. A range of metaphors composed by children are presented and discussed in terms of what they indicate about the personal worlds, special talents, and emotional insights that are often typical of the gifted. Moreover, some of these metaphors appear to play a cathartic role for their authors whereas others seem to provide an engaging vehicle for creatively gifted children's delight in the world of language and ideas. The approach to creative writing described in this article also has the potential to assist with the identification of those with linguistic talent.

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  • Full Year Academic Acceleration as a Strategy for Gifted Students in Secondary Schools

    Wardman, Janice (2009)

    Conference item
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • Inking the pen: A review of the significant influences on young gifted and talented writers.

    Garrett, Lynda (2008)

    Book item
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • Full Year Acceleration of gifted high school students: The road not taken

    Wardman, Janice (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

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  • Secondary teachers', student teachers' and education students' attitudes to full-year acceleration for gifted students.

    Wardman, Janice (2009)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    There is much research evidence in support of the academic benefits of acceleration, and while there is some evidence of the social and emotional benefits, the quantitative data are not as robust in this area. The use of acceleration for gifted students, however, is not common, and an analysis of the literature suggests that it is the perceptions of teachers, rather than the evidence of the results of published studies, which have caused the hesitation to utilise acceleration as a strategy for gifted students. This study sought to identify various groups of secondary teachers' perceptions towards full year academic acceleration. The findings confirm that the strategy is rarely used in NZ, although there was a high level of willingness on the part of teachers to utilise it in future provision for gifted students. [Author abstract, ed]

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  • 'Missing out'? the potential consequences of inaccurate teacher expectations on young gifted readers' achievement outcomes

    Garrett, Lynda; Davies, Christine; Alansari, Mohamed; Peterson, Elizabeth; Flint, Annaline; McDonald, Lynette; Watson, Penelope (2015)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    The present study investigated whether teachers held more accurate expectations for gifted or non-gifted students’ achievement in reading, and compared expectations for teachers involved in an intervention with those of control teachers. Participants included 275 Year 3-8 gifted students, 1413 non-gifted Year 3-8 students, and their 90 teachers within 12 schools in the three year Teacher Expectation Project (TEP). The intervention involved four days of professional development, aimed at enhancing intervention teachers’ ability to emulate the practices of high expectation teachers. All teachers provided their expectations for students’ reading achievement early and at mid-year. Standardised reading achievement data were collected at the same times. Trends in both intervention and control teacher estimations of student achievement outcomes were analysed over time, with significant variations noted in relation to teacher estimation accuracy. This paper considers the potential dual impact of inaccurate teacher estimations on gifted students’ opportunities for learning, and their future potential in reading.

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  • Gifted around the globe : gifted and talented education in international schools : a thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand

    Begg, Kylie

    Thesis
    Massey University

    Gifted education in international schools is an area that is yet to be fully investigated. The aim of this study was to explore the ways in which international schools identify gifted students and provide for their individual needs. Issues for international schools that were identified in the literature review included: cultural and linguistic diversity of students and the community, high teacher and student mobility and availability of provisions. A multiple case study design was used. Nineteen international schools from Europe, Asia and the Middle East were invited to participate in the study; however, only two schools participated in the study. The guiding principles, identification procedures and range of provisions were explored through an examination of relevant documentation, interviews with three staff members from each school, and a questionnaire presented to all teaching staff. The findings were analysed using a cross case procedure and pattern matching. The findings of the study indicate that the definitions and policy document created by the school are important for shared understandings of giftedness. Staff expertise and attitudes towards identifying gifted students from diverse cultures may impact the effectiveness of the school’s gifted programme. In both schools a tension between retaining the home-country’s ethos and internationalism and inclusivity was identified through the schools’ use of some culturally biased assessment practices, and little planning for culturally and linguistically diverse students. Finally, staff and student mobility was found to have an impact on the effectiveness of identification and practices for provision. Recommendations for international schools include: creating a definition and policy suited to the school; creating opportunities for professional development, and making links with the school and wider community. The findings of this study are limited due to the small number of case studies used. It is suggested that similar research is undertaken with a larger and more diverse group of schools.

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  • Working with musically gifted children: Creating talent. A report on the learning in the music heartland project 2003-2005

    Moore, Errol James (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis reports on a possibly unique example of gifted and talented provision in New Zealand music education. The Music Heartland Project was a holistic programme of learning for musically gifted children based in eight mainstream, publically-funded schools in New Zealand from 2003 to 2005. As the director of the project, I was in an advantageous position for collecting data throughout its duration. The data included work samples, performance recordings, administrative records, Independent Education Plans, observations of child participants in music lessons and their regular classroom, and interviews with child participants, parents, school liaison teachers for Heartland and specialist tutors. More than half of the selected children (aged 8-13) had no previous music learning other than classroom music. Students who successfully completed the initial selection received a mix of ensemble experience, instrumental learning (mostly keyboard and guitar) and creative projects with children from their own or other schools, mostly in school time. Children retained their place in the Heartland Project based on on-going evaluation of their commitment and musical progress. Music Heartland was dependent on the goodwill and commitment of the participating schools, as well as the teaching and musical expertise of the tutors it employed. The research design, research questions, and data analysis and interpretation were heavily based on my professional experience and the findings from an extensive review of the literature on the identification and education of gifted and talented students, particularly in music. Research questions focused on the effectiveness of music provision, views of a diversity of participants about the three year programme, and implications for school communities with domain provision occurring as part of the curriculum. The most interesting data pertained to dfferent components of the programme, and how these linked, impeded or enhanced musical growth. The key conclusions relate to the development and effectiveness of musical ensembles and creative work, and implications for schools engaging children in domain (music) gifted and talented provision. Involvement in sustained and challenging ensemble work, including a diversity of genre and cultural forms, appears to enhance the quality of children’s general musicianship, encourage productive links with instrumental learning and foster a sense of ownership about musical growth. Sustained creative work, in the form of collaborative projects, appears to support the development of situated creativity and innovative product, relative to the declarative expertise of children, as well as offers advantages of enhanced contexutalisation of instrumental growth. Domain (music) provision undertaken on a withdrawal basis, and taught by teachers with specialist knowledge appears to be cost effective relative to advantages for children’s music learning, and contributes significantly to their social confidence, leadership and personal organisation without affecting wider achievement levels. A supportive school culture allows cross-class, and even cross-school activity, of varying intensity in class time throughout the year. It appears that attitides of school staff are positively influenced as they observe longer term effects of domain provision on children.

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  • Academic success amongst a cohort of gifted and talented Māori and Pasifika secondary school boys: Elements that have contributed to their achievement

    Miller, Graeme Oliver (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    In recent years Māori and Pasifika students have been the focus of much discussion and a significant amount of research relating to underachievement. Despite this, many Māori and Pasifika secondary school boys are achieving highly in the academic sphere within the context of mainstream boys’ state secondary schools in New Zealand. Achievement aside, evidence shows that Māori and Pasifika secondary school boys are seriously under-represented in programmes for the gifted and talented. This enquiry examines factors in relation to identifying gifted and talented students, and investigates how their abilities are forged and nurtured. The reasons for student success merit serious investigation because of how the multiple elements contributing to their achievement are likely to be applicable to others, and are a pressing concern for academic attainment in the New Zealand education system. This qualitative study examines why 30 academically successful Māori and Pasifika secondary school boys achieved highly in the mainstream education system. The boys ranged from 13 to 19 years, the youngest being in his first year at high school as a Year 9 student, and the oldest being in his second year at university. The thesis argues their academic success was due to the complex interplay of home and school environmental elements, and the boys’ intrapersonal characteristics. The study explored the boys’ and parents’ narratives to explain why students had achieved highly, and examined both the parents’ and boys’ perceptions of how well the schools had provided for their intellectual, emotional and cultural needs. Sociocultural learning theory is the main theoretical lens through which the findings are viewed. The methodology is primarily built upon narrative inquiry. The main method of data collection was by semi-structured interview, both individually and in focus groups. Supplementary methods utilised were questionnaires and observation. An issue in the research was the disparity between the cultural and ethnic background of the participants and myself as the researcher. However, an endeavour was made to mitigate this by consulting with Māori and Pasifika educators, a kaumatua (elder) and iwi (tribal) representative prior to the research commencing. In addition, models developed through this study were submitted to Māori and Pasifika educators for their comment and approval prior to being included. With its focus specifically on highly-achieving Māori and Pasifika secondary school boys, this thesis makes an original contribution to the national and international discussion about raising student achievement. It provides a platform for further research to address the particular concerns around the underachievement of Māori and Pasifika secondary school boys. While there are several implications arising from the research, all are linked to the need for policy makers and educators to address the issue of the underrepresentation of Māori and Pasifika students in programmes for the gifted and talented. Policies, practices and relationships need to be examined to evaluate how effectively they contribute to gifted and talented Māori and Pasifika students receiving the academic opportunities they deserve. A key part of this examination will need to include consultation with students and their whānau.

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  • The learning experiences and preferred teaching strategies of children who have been identified as Gifted with ADHD

    Edwards, Kylee (2008)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This qualitative study investigated the educational and social experiences of six children who had been identified as Gifted with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The children were aged from six to ten years old. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the children and their parents and a staff member of the George Parkyn Centre (now The Gifted Education Centre) to explore their educational and social experiences in order to identify their preferred strategies that were also expected to be the most effective educational strategies. It is important to identify effective educational strategies for Gifted children with ADHD. This is because there are children in New Zealand (as this study has found) who have been identified as Gifted with ADHD but according to the literature review conducted for this study there does not appear to be a significant amount of literature from New Zealand or international writers that informs educators about how to assist these children to learn. Instead, the literature appeared to focus on misdiagnosis of Giftedness as ADHD, however, these children may benefit from having assistance with their learning as some literature suggested they are not being identified and could be underachievers. It seems that the use of effective educational strategies may be the only way these children could reach their academic potential. Therefore, this study sought to move on from the misdiagnosis debate evident in the Gifted/ADHD literature to identify some effective educational strategies. This study also investigated the social experiences of Gifted children with ADHD. This is because the literature maintained Gifted children with ADHD could have difficulties with social interactions. Talking to the children about their social interactions could indicate whether the literature's implications are correct and if they are it should allow further understanding regarding how we could assist the Gifted child with ADHD to have more positive social interactions that could also positively impact on learning as social interactions occur within the classroom. The key findings of this study indicated that some Gifted children with had specific learning preferences that could stimulate them to learn (e.g., when their interests were recognised, information was presented visually, tasks had a meaningful purpose and movement and use of computers was allowed). Ineffective educational strategies were also addressed although not in detail as for the most part they seemed to be the opposite of effective educational strategies. The findings also indicated Gifted children with ADHD could benefit when they find their 'true peer' as this seemed to result in the children within this study wanting to work with others. Although specific suggestions were recommended (e.g., the use Renzulli's 1977 Enrichment Triad Model) the findings emphasised the depth of information that could be gained by simply talking to children and their parents about their learning. A wider implication may be this Gifted group of children may benefit from the use of specific educational strategies that personalise their learning.

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  • Writing because I want to, not because I have to: Young gifted writers’ perspectives on the factors that “matter” in developing expertise

    Garrett, Lynda; Moltzen, Roger (2011-05)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    The study reported on here sought to better understand the development of writing talent from the perspectives of a group of gifted adolescent female writers. Recent shifts in how giftedness and talent are conceptualized has led to an increased focus on domain-specific abilities and the importance of understanding how specific talents can be identified and supported. Gagné’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT) (see Gagné, 2000; 2003; 2007; 2008) distinguishes between gifts and talents. Gifts represent the potential for outstanding achievement, while talents are the manifestation of this potential. Of particular interest to teachers and parents are the conditions that are influential in gifts being realised as talents – what Gagné refers to as catalysts. The participants in this study were asked to reflect on the development of their interest and ability in writing over time. Emerging from their feedback were two categories of catalysts: the intrapersonal and the environmental. For this group of students, intrapersonal catalysts were more influential to the realisation of their writing talent than environmental catalysts. This intrinsic motivation to write, and from an early age, is consistent with studies of eminent adult writers. Parents and teachers featured as important environmental catalysts. The participants in this study valued the input and support of teachers, particularly during the early years of their schooling. However, as they moved through the school system, these students felt the nature of the curriculum, and assessment practices increasingly threatened their intrinsic motivation for writing and diminished the satisfaction gained from writing at school. An unexpected outcome of this research was the important influence of music on their current writing.

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  • “If you talk, you are just talking.If I talk, is that bragging?”: perspectives of parents with young gifted children in New Zealand

    Chellapan, Lakshmi (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Investigating parental and family environments is not a new subject, but is a growing interest amongst psychologists, counsellors, and educationists. The purpose of this study has been to provide a rich description of the perspectives and experiences of parents raising gifted and talented children in New Zealand. Parents who live and care for a child with special talents or abilities face a great number of different stressors compared with parents who have a ‘normal’ or ‘average’ child (Clark, 2008; Delisle, 2001; May, 2000). Research suggests that recognizing and dealing with gifted children’s advanced intellectual, social, emotional and motor skills which are different from average ability children pose challenges in parenting gifted children (Moon & Hall, 1998; Moon, 2003; Moon, Jurich & Feldhusen, 1998; Silverman & Kearney, 1989). There has been little research conducted into the experiences of parents with young gifted children in New Zealand. This thesis therefore seeks to find out the parents’ views on and their experiences of having young gifted children and understand how and what meaning they construct around living with their children. The purpose of this study therefore has been aimed at listening to the voices of parents whose children are identified as intellectually gifted and also to look at the actual experience of these parents who have the greatest influence in their gifted children’s lives. Using a qualitative phenomenology study, four parents with a young intellectual gifted child were interviewed about their parenting experiences. The perspectives and experiences of these parents have been analyzed from multiple perspectives. In-depth interviewing and analytical memos have provided a rich picture of the experiences and perspectives of these parents with their gifted and talented children. It is ix from these insights that some clarity has been gained about the understanding and challenges that these parents faced when raising gifted and talented children, and how they are interpreted by the participants This thesis explores the participants’ understanding of parenting a young intellectually gifted child, discusses similarities to and differences from general parenting, and describes the outcomes of the four parents in this study. It highlights four systematic problems that complicate their parenting: (a) community lack of support (b) education inequalities (c) difficulties in the gifted support service, and (d) social stigma. This thesis also draws attention to the need for counsellors, psychologists, and expertise in gifted education to address the issues and get an understanding of the challenges that the parents of the gifted children are faced with when they are parenting a child with special needs.

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  • Gifted boys in English : uncovering underachievement : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education at Massey University

    Blake, Anna M

    Thesis
    Massey University

    Gifted underachievement is a severe and alarming phenomenon. There are a range of complex factors leading to the underachievement of many of our gifted students within our schools. This thesis examines one particular group of underachievers; gifted adolescents in English. Personal observations, national assessment results and previous research studies have identified gifted male students as having serious problems with underachievement in English at the secondary level. This thesis aims to examine this phenomenon in more detail. Ten students were chosen to partake in this study, two from each year level at high school. These students were identified as having gifts or talents in English, but were currently performing well below measures of their potential. These participants represented a range of underachievement, from those who are passing in English but are not excelling, to those who are severely underachieving and have behavioural and attitudinal problems. Research methods were designed to gain as much information about the students as possible in order to build a detailed profile of their underachievement. Work samples, assessment results, previous school reports and formative test results were collected for each student. Participants also completed a questionnaire which asked them to evaluate their opinions and attitudes towards school. The majority of this research study focused on interviews in order to gain an insight into the profiles of underachievement. All ten participants were interviewed about school, achievement and learning. Interviews were also conducted with the most recent English teacher of the participant as well as their parents/caregivers. The profiles of students suggested that underachievement is a diverse and complex phenomenon. These ten participants are a varied and unique group of students with individual needs and challenges. lt quickly became clear that no single profile of giftedness could be established for this diverse group of learners. However, despite the fact these students are very diverse, the reasons and causes for underachievement were similar across all ten participants. Participants suggested they were bored, unmotivated and unchallenged in class and failed to see the relevance of their learning. In class, participants were described as being withdrawn, distracted and sometimes had antisocial behavioural tendencies. Participants struggled with perfectionism, deadlines and the development of their ideas. All ten participants were achieving well below their potential. Parents and their sons believed it was impossible to meet their individual needs within public secondary schools and within standards-based assessment. Despite their underachievement, participants spoke with excitement about the changes they would like to see in the English classroom. These participants want challenge, interest, variety and an ability to demonstrate their learning through a variety of methods. Many suggestions proposed by participants pose difficult challenges for educators. However, it is clear that our gifted students are not succeeding within our secondary schools and under our national qualification system.

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  • Fostering in-depth learning with gifted students : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education at Massey

    Young, Joanne

    Thesis
    Massey University

    This action research project investigated ways to improve the depth of gifted students' learning. In particular, it sought to identify strategies that could be used to foster deeper understanding and to improve students' learning outcomes. The motivation for this project was sparked by the teacher/researcher's experience in teaching a class of sixteen gifted students aged between 8 and 11 years. She observed highly capable students working below, what she perceived to be, their full potential. This incongruence between her expectations and her students' learning outcomes led to an exploration of ways to improve her teaching practice so that it would have a positive influence on the depth of the students' learning. A literature review explored the needs for a differentiated curriculum for gifted students that supports in-depth learning. It also examined theory around approaches to learning and their relationship with learning outcomes. How to influence students' approaches to learning, and subsequently their learning outcomes, was also explored. The literature review showed little evidence of studies that explored in-depth learning in a gifted education context. This project set out to answer the following research questions: • What strategies can be used with gifted students to effectively foster in-depth learning? • What influence does the implementation of these strategies have on the depth of gifted students' learning? The study involved the teacher/researcher working with her class of gifted students to improve the quality of her teaching and their learning. Baseline data on quality of teaching and the depth of students' thinking was gathered. This involved students completing a questionnaire based on sixteen teaching strategies that had been identified as important for fostering in-depth learning. The questionnaire included Likert scale questions and open-ended responses. The SOLO Taxonomy was used to design an evaluative test to measure the depth of students' understanding around familiar social studies, maths, and reading concepts. Students' feedback from the questionnaire was used to frame an intervention, which focused on the four weakest strategies (as indicated by the baseline data). After a ten-week period, this data gathering process was repeated, which provided comparative data. This was used to measure change over time, and to determine the success of the intervention. During the intervention a detailed research diary was kept. This helped the teacher/researcher to remain focused on the identified strategies. The discussion of findings focused on two themes: 'Measuring and influencing the depth of students' learning' and 'Improving the quality of teaching'. The study found that before the intervention most students were operating at the quantitative stages of the SOLO Taxonomy, which indicates that they were not demonstrating in-depth thinking. The post-intervention test results showed little improvement, indicating that the intervention had limited impact on improving the depth of the students' learning. However, the study did find that, even before the intervention, the sample group performed at higher levels on the SOLO Taxonomy than their same-aged peers might be expected to perform. The discussion around improving the quality of teaching showed that the teacher/researcher's implementation of the focus strategies aligned with current research to a certain extent, but that her practice could have been better informed. The design of the action research project was critiqued, which highlighted the need for more collaboration with other educators, a longer duration for the intervention, and a stronger content focus. An additional finding from the study was an overlap between how best to meet the learning needs of gifted students and how best to encourage all students to engage in in-depth learning. Recommendations for future research include further action research cycles, which address the limitations of the present study. Other recommended research includes exploration of realistic expectations for the depth of gifted students' learning, a study into in-depth learning with gifted students in a fulltime gifted programme or in the regular classroom (as opposed to a one-day-school model like the present study), or research around the overlap between teaching gifted students and teaching for in-depth learning.

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  • Writing because I want to, not because I have to: Young gifted writers' perspectives on the factors that "matter" in developing expertise

    Garrett, Lynda; Moltzen, R (2011-05)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    The study reported on here sought to better understand the development of writing talent from the perspectives of a group of gifted adolescent female writers. Recent shifts in how giftedness and talent are conceptualized has led to an increased focus on domain-specific abilities and the importance of understanding how specific talents can be identified and supported. Gagné’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT) (see Gagné, 2000; 2003; 2007; 2008) distinguishes between gifts and talents. Gifts represent the potential for outstanding achievement, while talents are the manifestation of this potential. Of particular interest to teachers and parents are the conditions that are influential in gifts being realised as talents – what Gagné refers to as catalysts. The participants in this study were asked to reflect on the development of their interest and ability in writing over time. Emerging from their feedback were two categories of catalysts: the intrapersonal and the environmental. For this group of students, intrapersonal catalysts were more influential to the realisation of their writing talent than environmental catalysts. This intrinsic motivation to write, and from an early age, is consistent with studies of eminent adult writers. Parents and teachers featured as important environmental catalysts. The participants in this study valued the input and support of teachers, particularly during the early years of their schooling. However, as they moved through the school system, these students felt the nature of the curriculum, and assessment practices increasingly threatened their intrinsic motivation for writing and diminished the satisfaction gained from writing at school. An unexpected outcome of this research was the important influence of music on their current writing.

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  • Perfectionism : a group intervention with gifted females : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Education at Massey University

    Ramsey, Deborah

    Thesis
    Massey University

    This thesis reports on an intervention with a group of 14-year-old gifted girls, designed to address issues of perfectionism that may be affecting them now and which might negatively impact on their future learning. The intervention was designed on the basis of a systems model of perfectionism. This model frames perfectionism as a consequence of a world view that over-emphasises performance at the expense of learning and experience. The intervention exposed participants to the need to balance performance, learning and experience in order to achieve sustainable life-long learning. The intervention involved a mix of Improvisational drama, group conversation, identification of perfectionistic thinking, personal diaries, cost-benefit analysis and challenging of assumptions, conducted during the course of six one-hour workshops. The thesis presents the intervention predominantly in the form of case study descriptions of the six workshops. A major finding of the case study was the value of intervention designed to meet the needs of participants who have not reached a clinically significant level of perfectionism. The term 'fledgling perfectionists' was coined to describe this 'at risk' group, and characteristics of fledgling perfectionists are described. Effective intervention with fledgling perfectionists requires a safe learning environment where they can explore perturbing concepts pertinent to their world view. Improvisational Drama conducted with a group that includes a mix of perfectionistic and non-perfectionistic participants contributes to such an environment. Effective intervention with fledgling perfectionists also requires the facilitator to take a developmental approach and to incorporate individual follow-up processes with fledgling perfectionists.

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  • A case study of gifted visual-spatial learners : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Education, Massey University, New Zealand

    Mansfield, Sharon

    Thesis
    Massey University

    This thesis explores a group of learners who have exceptional visual-spatial abilities relative to their same age peers. These abilities give them the potential to achieve success in areas where the capability to visualise three dimensional images and manipulate those images in space contributes to a creative problem-solving mindset that is highly valued in today’s globally competitive world of innovative technology. Literature reviewed to background the investigation topic suggested characteristic differences in the way these learners process information can create barriers to successful classroom learning. It was reported that consequent areas of challenge within traditional academic domains, together with their exceptional ability being not often recognised or valued in schools, contributes to gifted visual-spatial learners being an “invisible group”. These findings lead to the development of a primary research aim to describe these differences and explore how they affect the learning experiences of these students. As part of this investigation, the extent to which the exceptional visual-spatial abilities were recognised and how well their need for a differentiated curriculum was understood was also evaluated. A case study approach has been utilised to create in-depth descriptions of three students who, following completion of a cognitive assessment profile by a professional with acknowledged expertise and knowledge about gifted students, had been identified as gifted visual-spatial learners. A photo elicitation technique was incorporated into the case study methodology as it was considered that this would mesh well with the characteristic processing style of the participants. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants using photographs that they had taken in response to stimulus questions posed at an initial meeting. The photographs provided a concrete visual product that linked to personal experiences as a prompt for communication to encourage meaningful discussion. Observations were undertaken of the learners in learning environments and semi-structured interviews were carried out with teachers and parents. Further data was gathered from analysis of unobtrusive artefacts such as assessment reports and samples of work. The resulting information is presented as three case descriptions followed by a discussion section. Particular attention has been given to describing learning characteristics that set these students apart and discussion of how these differences impact on academic achievement. Aspects that supported successful learning experiences were also identified and recommendations for classroom practice and for future research have been made.

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  • Identifying giftedness in early childhood centres : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Allan, Barbara Ann

    Thesis
    Massey University

    This study investigated current understanding of giftedness as it relates to NZ early childhood centre settings, in order to produce a teacher-friendly identification tool and to explore the effect of identification on curriculum provision for young children displaying gifted behaviours. Analysis of international research literature provided an initial source of indicators that could be used by teachers within the specific context of NZ early childhood centres in order to identify gifted behaviours in young children. Academics involved in gifted education and early childhood teachers experienced with gifted young children critiqued an identification instrument based on these indicators. Modifications based on these critiques resulted in an instrument of indicators of gifted behaviours considered relevant to NZ early childhood settings grouped under headings of cognition and language, approach to learning, creativity and social competence. Seventeen early childhood centres, involving a total of 167 children selected on the basis of age, gender, and ethnicity only, trialled the instrument. Seven centres participated in a training workshop previous to trialling the instrument, 10 centres received no pre-trial training. Focus group interviews revealed that using the instrument increased teachers' understanding and recognition of gifted behaviour, but that participation in a short training session did not increase success in identifying giftedness. Teachers did not show clear understanding of giftedness relating to diverse cultures or negative behaviour. A further phase of the research used unstructured interviews in six individual centres over one month to investigate the impact of identification on provision for gifted children. Teachers expressed a need for support services to assist in catering for gifted young children. The research demonstrated that while the identification instrument was useful to teachers, there are needs for further professional support and extended preservice and in-service training regarding both the diversity of giftedness and the provision of differentiated programmes for gifted young children.

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  • The affective characteristics of underachieving intellectually gifted children : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education at Massey University

    Dixon, Roselyn May

    Thesis
    Massey University

    The overall aim of this research was to investigate the affective characteristics of achieving and underachieving gifted children. In particular, this project examined the academic self-concept, self-expectations for future achievement and academic locus of control of achieving gifted, underachieving gifted and average achieving children. Subjects were chosen from a total nonreferred Form 1 population of 1,220 children from Palmerston North and Feilding intermediate schools. The group intelligence test, the Test of Scholastic Abilities (Intermediate B)(T0SCA) was used as an initial screening device and those students who had a predicted Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children (Revised)(WISC-R) IQ score of 118 or more were administered the Full WISC-R test. Forty one students had a WISC-R Full Score (FS) IQ>125 and were classified as gifted. Seven of these students were classifed into an underachieving gifted group as their actual Performance Achievement Test (PAT) measures were one standard error of estimate or more below their predicted scores as determined by the regression equation method, whereas the remaining 34 were placed into an achieving gifted group. A third group, classified as average achievers, was composed of children who had WISC-R FS IQs ranging between 90 to 110 and whose achievement on the PAT was within one standard error of estimate of prediction. Of the gifted groups, 26 of 34 of the achieving and five of seven of the underachievers were males. Most of the gifted population came from the professional and managerial socio-economic classes. In the average achieving group there were more females (22 of 39) and the full range of socio-economic groups were represented. The Student's Perception of Ability Scale (SPAS) was administered to all three groups to test the hypotheses that significant differences in academic self-concept would be found between all three groups and that over time there would be a perceptible decrease in this self-concept. There was a significant difference in academic self-concept between the achieving gifted and average achieving groups (p<0.01). The self-expectations also declined as predicted over time for all three groups with the greatest difference noted for the achieving gifted children. The final construct, the academic locus of control, was measured using the Intellectual Achievement Responsibility Questionnaire (IAR). No significant differences were found between the three groups. All subjects ascribed responsibility for success to internal causes and were more external for failure outcomes. This result was contrary to the hypotheses that achieving gifted children would be more internal for both success and failure outcomes and that the underachieving gifted would be more external on failure outcomes than either achieving group. Discriminant function analysis showed that 71.9 percent of cases were correctly identified (hits) and this appeared to justify at least the use of the self-expectations for future achievement construct in discriminating achieving gifted from underachieving gifted children. On the basis of the above findings it was concluded that achieving and underachieving gifted children did not differ greatly in their school-related affective characteristics. Academic self-concept and locus of control did not discriminate between these two groups. In fact, the locus of control results suggested the need for the use of an alternative instrument. Self-expectations for future achievement were, however, significantly different for these two groups and this variable was considered to be the most useful for further investigation and the most likely target for the remediation of underachievement.

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  • Creating kakala : gifted and talented Tongan students in New Zealand secondary schools : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Education, Massey University

    Frengley-Vaipuna, Ingrid

    Thesis
    Massey University

    This thesis is an ethnographic case study investigation of two gifted and talented young Tongan women in New Zealand secondary schools. A motivation for the study was the researcher's personal and professional involvement with Tongan communities and a deep fascination for this rich and complex culture. The other motivating factors came from a yearning to see all gifted and talented students in New Zealand better catered for, and especially those from cultural minorities who, for many complex reasons, can be overlooked in our present education system. A literature review considered two broad areas. 'The Tongan Way' considered issues related specifically to the way Tongans live their lives in New Zealand and elsewhere, while 'Gifted and Talented' explored Francoys Gagne's differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent as well as the situation for gifted and talented minority students and gifted and talented education in New Zealand. The review found no evidence of studies of gifted and talented Tongan students in New Zealand. The following research questions guided the research: * What gifts and talents are valued by Tongan communities? * What catalysts operate in the development of Tongan students' talents? - At school? At home? In the community? Are any of these culturally specific? - How are the intrapersonal characteristics of giftedness exhibited within Tongan culture? A case study approach was used to explore these questions. Two young Tongan women in Year 13 at different schools were selected as the central participants, one born in Tonga and one New Zealand-born. These students were interviewed and, during the initial interview, they nominated other participants. Such 'snowball sampling' ensures the researcher and participants are partners in the research process. In Pasifika research, as in all cross-cultural research, ethical considerations are particularly important. Culturally appropriate methodology was developed including the use of a metaphorical framework developed by Tongan academic and poet Dr. Konai Helu Thaman. This was particularly important as the researcher was Pālangi and credibility within the Tongan community was needed for the research to have any kind of validity or purpose. Advice from Tongans was sought in all stages of the research from the initial proposal to the dispersal of the finished manuscript. Data was gathered from interviews, questionnaires, observations, and documents. This was coded and presented according to the emerging themes of opportunities, achievement and leadership, personal qualities, motivation and identity. The 'Tongan Way' was explained in depth as this influenced all aspects of the research. A descriptive account was given of the schools and the biographical details of the central participants. Data was analysed and interpreted in various ways including poems constructed from the voices of participants, diagrams and recommendations for schools. Recommendations for further research included longitudinal studies with a larger sample in order to move beyond the limitations of the research as well as revisiting the effects of culturally specific catalysts since they may change over time.

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