Let’s talk about Gifted Children - A Facebook Interview between Hon. Tracey Martin & Deb Walker (NZCGE).


Let’s talk about Gifted Children - A Facebook Interview between Hon. Tracey Martin & Deb Walker (NZCGE).

The New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education (NZCGE) CEO, Deborah Walker, recently had a Facebook live interview with Hon. Tracey Martin to talk about Gifted Children in education. At the beginning of the interview Minister Martin asked the difference between giftedness and talented children.


“We use the terms gifted and talented synonymously to make ourselves feel comfortable, because we aren’t quite comfortable with the word gifted, and the word talented doesn't feel so threatening. But the trouble with that is that then gifted children are only viewed as talented and I think that negates the needs around giftedness itself, ” replied Walker.


Walker goes on to explain how gifted children manifest in different ways. Gifted children have the ability to achieve far more in their area of strength for their age relative to other children. However, many gifted children can be faced with learning challenges that result in underachievement for all sorts of reasons. Walker is, however, excited about how giftedness is now being seen in the New Zealand Education Sector, included as part of Learning Support and recognising New Zealand educators as capable of applying strategies they already implement but at both ends of the learning spectrum.


“It sounds like we need to give the profession the tools and opportunities to work with and extend students that need extension in multiple ways and give the permission to do that,” responds Minister Martin.


Walker states, “Gifted learners often have to compete to learn and they often don't come out as the winners, as the perception is they are already achieving. If you constantly look at achievement as the benchmark, you are always going to lose in this field, but if you look at engagement and progress, it becomes very obvious that many gifted children don't learn a year's worth of learning in a year. You need to have permission as an educator to try and lift across the spectrum.”


The Minister and Ms Walker further comment on how the NZCGE one day programme is seen as a place where gifted children can just be themselves and not feel isolated. They discuss how some gifted children can have social pressures to fit in that can lead to misbehaviours and acting out. The NZCGE programme aims to group children with like minds, so that they can feel accepted and learn and laugh with each other. It's a programme that helps them to feel comfortable with who they are.


The interview finishes with a discussion on how NZCGE has been managing with COVID-19 and what support has been offered during this time. Walker commented MindPlus and Small Poppies are now being delivered online and COVID-19 has opened the door to engage other children with their Gifted Online opportunities.


The full interview can be found here on the NZCGE Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/nzcge/

Let’s talk about Gifted Children - A Facebook Interview between Hon. Tracey Martin & Deb Walker (NZCGE).

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