The first-ever definition written specifically for Aotearoa New Zealand!
We have never had any generally accepted definition of giftedness in this country. But without a definition, how can we be sure we are making valid decisions for our gifted learners? Do overseas definitions fit our needs? Māori bring a different and rich perspective to this issue: how is this reflected in what we do? What does all this mean when it comes to shaping a valid definition for our use here? Our answer:
"Giftedness is grounded in the extraordinary intensity with which gifted individuals experience life. Such intensity makes possible the exceptional qualities and abilities which characterise giftedness. In childhood, such exceptional qualities and abilities profoundly shape the child’s developmental and learning needs. In adolescence and adulthood, exceptional qualities and abilities can lead to a life vision, creating a sense of purpose larger than self: the ultimate outcome of a gifted life."
So how did we reach this definition, how does it reflect our traditional approach, and how does it relate to Māori perceptions? To find out, go back to Key Concepts and read “What does it mean to be gifted?” The answer is there!