Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gifted and Talented Maori Students

Staff meeting tonight was led by Robin Boswell. She focused on identification, teaching and the learning environment for Maori students who are gifted and talented. While the process of identifying gifted and talented students or traits within our students is not clear cut we are able to treat each student as though they all have a gift or talent.

It is so important that as teachers, educators or mentors that we must first identify where are are from. We must have an awareness of our own culture first. As Robin put it "Identification is key. We must make connections with our Maori students, but we must understand our own connections first".

Other key points from her talk where...

-Ethnicity is fixed, culture is dynamic.
-One culture has the power to enrich.
-Special talents are often only valued or noticed within their own cultures, and thus are often missed or left unidentified within the classroom.
-How do we rocognise talents outside their own cultures at school or in the classroom.
-Start any lesson or unit by firstly identifying WHO we are teaching.

It was eye opening once this info had been given to us to then be asked "What are we doing in the class to identify or foster Maori students with gifted or talentedness". It was without doubt one of those moments that make you self-reflect and question your own practice.

I was left with the thought "So what do I do first?". I guess I need to understand where I am from and identify my connections before I can begin to connect with my students. Thanks Robin...

We also watched a very good clip from the documentary 'Maori Boy Genius' which everyone should watch. Here is the official trailer.

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