Parents or teachers with an inkling their child or pupil
might fit into the difficult-to-define ''gifted'' group are
being encouraged to attend next month's annual National
Association for Gifted Children conference in Queenstown.
The conference, on March 16, will feature talks on the
intellectual, social and emotional needs of gifted children,
and student workshops including robotics, marine science,
maths, origami, poetry and the spoken word. Jilly O'Brien, of
Hawea Flat, teaches programmes for the gifted at Mount
Aspiring College in Wanaka and Cromwell College. She said as
well as psychological tests for high intellectual ability,
there was a range of other methods used in New Zealand to
identify gifted children.
''You can be identified by an educational psychologist, by
parents, by teachers, by your friends, by your iwi.
''It's really, really broad in New Zealand.''
It meant the term ''gifted'' did not just apply in an
intellectual sense, but extended to children who were
emotionally, culturally or creatively gifted, Mrs O'Brien
''If teachers are seeing it, parents are seeing it and the
community of the kid sees it, then it's more likely to be
''You try and get as much information from as many sources as
possible,'' she said.
A common approach was ''identification through provision'',
in which teachers set tasks that challenged conceptual
Mrs O'Brien said statistics showed 80% of parents were
correct in identifying their own child as gifted. Official
identification of giftedness was not necessary for parents to
attend the Queenstown conference.
''If parents are unsure or want to find out more about the
whole gifted thing, then they are most welcome. They will
meet like minds, make contacts and get a great deal of