Nau mai, haere mai

Welcome to the home of the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Blog tour. The blog tour runs through the month of June each year as an activity associated with New Zealand's Gifted Awareness Week.


The theme this year is Diversity


The New Zealand Gifted Awareness Blog Tour is an opportunity for you to have your say about giftedness. Here you can share your experiences, stories and views, for example, about being gifted, parenting/raising gifted young people, and/or gifted education.

This might be:

  • student perspectives;
  • an opinion pieces, perhaps with a call to action for positive change;
  • a poem;
  • research findings;
  • experiences from professional practice

Keen to contribute a blog?

We would love to help you get your voice out there and heard...or is that read...? Hmmm...anyway, if you'd like to contribute this year, then complete the 'I want to blog!' form, or check out the 'how-to' section to find out more about the process. We welcome blogs from everyone: those who are experienced bloggers, as well as those with little or no experience. If you run into any problems, please feel free to email Vanessa, the blog coordinator.

Members of Parliament have always contributed in varying numbers and at least one of them reads a selection of the blogs each year. You’ll probably be able to tell which one, if you read the political posts.

Skip me straight to the blog tour now please.


Colour coding of blog post images
You will notice that there is a strip of colour to the left of the thumbnail images for each post. These indicate the following:

  • Green - posts which have been written by gifted children
  • Red - posts which have had more than 500 views during the blog tour period
  • Yellow - posts which relate to government viewpoints and policies, open letters to Parliament, and other posts created for lobbying purposes
  • Purple - these are not blogs, but have been a significant part of the discussion during the period of the Blog Tour

Please share widely!

Please share the blogs widely: to friends, family, educators, specialists, MPs...anyone you think might be interested and/or could benefit from reading them. The New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week hashtag is used for sharing blogs, so please feel free to include #NZGAW in your posts, tweets, emails, etc. The blog tour will have a presence online through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

  • Like the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education page on Facebook
  • Follow @NZGiftedEd on Twitter


The 2017 Blog Tour is underway!

Each day during the month of June a new blog post will be published. Watch this space or like the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education on Facebook to keep up with the latest posts, and most of all...enjoy!



The Strength of Our Whāriki…

By Andi Delaune

There has been something really bugging me of late, and it connects to the theme of this years Gifted Awareness Week – a concern with diversity. I have worked in the early childhood field for (eeek) over 15 years now. I have always been very grateful for a curriculum which – while being very complex – was able to represent the rich variety of learners...Read more 


The Power of Invisibility

By Tracy Riley

We need to understand the ways in which gifted learners in New Zealand have become invisible, mainly through measures that do not acknowledge their diversity, and despite promises of visibility through a policy that mandates appropriate educational responses to their special abilities and qualities. Read more.


Practicing Empathy and Compassion: Protecting the well-being of child advocates

By Anonymous

Our child has diverse needs. He is a gifted learner and excels in math, reading, science, strategic thinking and picking up on the emotional vibes of others. He experiences debilitating anxiety, has perfectionistic tendencies, gets sensory overload with sound and light and, as an introvert, gets "peopled out" very, very quickly. Read more


Seasoned with Love

By Elaine Le Sueur

The way that education is delivered has undergone huge change over the last twenty years and will continue to do so as access to technology is refined and improved. Success hinges on mastering the ability to do things differently, and herein lies a challenge because educator awareness of the possibilities can be a green light or a road block. Read more.


A Video Tribute to Exceptional Mothers - International Blogger

By Tina Harlow

I have the best job in the world!  As a therapist working with gifted children and their families, I have the honor and pleasure of knowing some of the most beautiful souls on the planet. I am moved, on a daily basis, by the tireless love and effort that I see...Read more.


Is Diversity a Punishment?

By Dr. Rosemary Cathcart

When you are a little gifted child, you probably don’t yet know the word “diverse”. But you do know the word “different”. And for you, that’s a word that can all too often mean “I don’t belong”. Half the time the other kids just don’t seem to understand what you’re talking about...Read more.


Mind's Diversity

By Stephanie Tolan

In the midst of the current world chaos when people encounter the word “diversity” what probably comes to mind first is what might be called obvious diversity—race, religion, ethnic origin, culture, citizenship, gender, economic status. What I am writing about today is less noticeable and for some perhaps rather more controversial...Read more.


Some Infinities are Bigger than Other Infinities

By Vanessa White

It seems strange to think of something as simple as the numbers 1, 2, and 3, and consider that there are innumerable infinities in between each. But once you have looked at the numbers in this way, there is no going back. You can't 'unknow' it. You might forget, but...Read more.


Gifted, not Psychic!

By Jessica Parsons

To our gifted children, growing so fast....You are quick and delightful. You are intuitive and insightful. You are without a doubt gifted, and we are proud of you every day. However....Read more.


The Personal Touch: A Preferred approach in supporting educators of the gifted

By Anna Meuli

I have always been struck by the beauty of snowflakes, their delicacy, intricacy and individuality. No two are the same. Each follow slightly different paths from the sky to the ground, encountering slightly different atmospheric conditions along the way...Read more.


Diversity: Out there in the Margins

By Sue Luus

Education systems traditionally focus on providing what they believe children lack which will magically transform them into “whole, complete people” (Parsons, 2007), so that they capable of contributing to society or at least conforming to societal norms and values. The traditional model, born of the Industrial Revolution was a...Read more.


Navigating Giftedness and Cultural Diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand

By Sunny (Karen) Bush

To many, diversity means ‘difference’. It can be a euphemism for not fitting the norm in a gifted education context. The definition takes on a stronger potency when applied to diversity between cultures. It is this very cultural concept of diversity, which is about to take on an ever-increasing role of importance...Read more.


The Diverse Doctor

By Madelaine Armstrong-Willcocks

In the weeks and months leading up to Gifted Awareness Week this year, I've been immersing myself in a new fandom, that of Doctor Who. I've enjoyed (thanks to Netflix) the different regenerations of the Doctor, his various companions, his adventures and travels and troubles, and mostly I've enjoyed his musings...Read more.


Diversity through Creativity

By Jo Dean

Diversity is such a big, bold powerful word. For some diversity can mean difference, this is how I will explore the term in an early childhood context. There are countless ways in which we can embrace difference through Creativity. Creativity can be applied to any field of interest, we only need to...Read more.


You Can't be a Doctor!

By Dr. Leeanne Hinch

Recently I taught a chemistry class to high ability 10 year olds in Dublin. When my name appeared on the board a child immediately found fault with it. “You can’t be a doctor!” he exclaimed. At first I assumed that he was troubled by my youth or because I am the very picture of eccentricity. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Read more.


Living on the Margins of Two Cultures

By Louise Tapper

It is increasingly obvious to us all living in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2017 that we are a nation of many, many different cultures. The debates around immigration policies currently going on among our politicians is testament to this fact! For those of us who advocate for, and work with, gifted and talented children and young people...Read more.


Celebrating Diversity  - and the Gifted

By Carol Bainbridge

Ask any gifted child or adult and you’ll likely learn that they feel different, that they don’t feel as though they fit in. Could this celebration of diversity be an opportunity for people to learn about and understand the gifted? Or is it one more excuse for excluding the gifted? Read more


Moving from Needs to Rights: Count Me In!

By Margaret Sutherland

"...learning and teaching, rights and inclusion of the marginalised and excluded - should strike at the heart of gifted education and indeed at the heart of all education"...Read more.


Beyond Diversity: Nurturing and engaging our twice-exceptional learners

By Melinda Gindy

Aiden’s Mum paused at the door to his bedroom. It was 11pm- far too late for a 12 year old to still be awake. But this was the norm. As long as they stuck to the routine, she could get him into bed without a meltdown. She smiled at his request for the next Dan Brown book after...Read more.


The importance of Being (Aware)

By Maggie Brown

I know that I drive those around me crazy with my talk of giftedness in adults.  “Gifted kids grow up”.  “The things that are different about us are with us – life-long!”.    “Call it what you want, there are qualities and characteristics that distinguish us as being different – not better than, not worse than – but very very different!”. Read more.


An Open Letter to Boards of Trustees: On diversity, inclusion and ethical leadership

By Vanessa White

Dear Boards of Trustees of Aotearoa New Zealand, You do an incredibly important job. Your role is critical in ensuring successful outcomes of tamariki and rangatahi across the country. As the overseers of the learning progress and well-being of all learners in your schools, you are, guardians of the young and vulnerable. Read more.



It's election year and our chance to be heard.  Read the statements from various political parties, listen to what they have to say, and then have your say. (Simply cover your devices camera if you don't want your face to show in your response video). If that's not your cup of tea, then it's not too late to send a letter to parliament. New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week may have passed, but the needs and rights of our children and young people continue. Make your mark. 


Context Matters

By Maureen Neihart

Ten years ago, I thought I understood diversity. Then I moved to Southeast Asia and learned how much I didn’t know. I climbed a steep learning curve. In just the first several months, I realized that some of the big ideas I held dear might not even be relevant in the Asian context. I was humbled and confused. Read more.


Supergirl: On a mission to save the world one person at a time

By Vanessa White

We often hear of highly sensitive gifted children, who need to be shielded from the atrocities in the news, and about how we can help these kids see that they are able to effect change in manageable ways to help others. But what happens as our kids start to become more independent and we are no longer able to shield them in this way? Read more.


Books: The mirrors and windows of diversity

By Elaine Le Sueur

Many of today’s picture books contain powerful messages that apply to today’s world and can be used to stimulate critical thinking, reflection and discussion. Books can make you feel valued by providing a mirror, or introduce you to alternatives by offering windows on diverse views.  My contention is that sophisticated picture books...Read more.



Gifted Children: Culturally, ethnically, racially and socially diverse

By Celi Trépanier

When gifted students’ unique learning needs go unmet, underachievement, delinquent behavior, depression, suicide and dropping out of school can occur. We cannot let unidentified gifted children just fall through the cracks nor ignore their right to an appropriate education which they need to fulfill their potential. Read more.


What's in a name?

By Brooke Trenwith

One of the hardest challenges that teachers, gifted students and parents of gifted kids have to work with leadership that “does not believe in giftedness”. Whether it is the Board of Trustees, Principal, a DP or a lead teacher, their belief suddenly imparts a massive barrier to a child turning their potential into performance. Read more.


Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Students in School

By Tracy L. Cross

This podcast covers an array of interesting ideas, including perceptions, lived experiences and beliefs of and about gifted learners. Some of these include; asynchrony, perfectionism, environmental impacts on perceptions, the power of the social experience, identity, and need for time with like-minded peers. Listen here.


Designing Curriculum for Gifted Students

By Dr. Kimberley Chandler

Throughout the literature of gifted education, the modifications recommended for differentiating curriculum for gifted students may be categorized as relating to content, process, product, learning environment, and (to a lesser extent) affective concerns. As a result of work done through...Read more.

The Eureka Moment: Getting it right for the gifted

By Dame Rosie Horton

The welfare of children has always been close to my heart. Creating opportunities and environments in which they can flourish is so important. Gifted children can be overlooked, as it can be a misconception that they will thrive and go forward no matter what. As the grandmother of a child with gifts...Read more.



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