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Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu Though the gift may be small, it is something precious (Timu Niwa) Exploring Cultural Giftedness Robyn Boswell.

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Presentation on theme: "Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu Though the gift may be small, it is something precious (Timu Niwa) Exploring Cultural Giftedness Robyn Boswell."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu Though the gift may be small, it is something precious (Timu Niwa) Exploring Cultural Giftedness Robyn Boswell

2 Our Key Question: In what ways might we provide a culturally responsive environment for our students from diverse cultures so that their cultural giftedness is nurtured?

3 Personal vs Impersonal: Making connections – Maori learners Who are you? Where are you from? Are you really interested in me? Can I trust you? Do you really care? Should I follow you? The personal approach will work for all learners but the fact is the impersonal one wont work for Maori learners

4 Ethnicity and culture: Ethnicity is fixed Culture is dynamic Culture and its realities are invested anew with each generation. One culture always has the potential to enrich another.

5 Each culture tends to define giftedness in its own image. Think*Pair*Share What do you know/understand about your own culture? What would you like to know? How might you find out?

6 Students are often nominated for gifted programs by teachers who have the knowledge, understanding, awareness, and appreciation of their own culture as well as their students’ cultures.

7 Teachers must be aware of themselves as having distinctive cultural experiences before they can try to support and nurture the cultures of their students (Arredondo, 1999). This understanding can increase the awareness of how students receive information and form relationships within the context of their culture. If educators have an increased understanding, they can change their classroom environments to nurture culturally diverse students’ gifts and talents..

8 If educators can create culturally relevant classrooms, connecting students’ cultural and personal histories to the curricular content, students will demonstrate higher achievement and continue to achieve success in school and in gifted and talented programs. (Bernal, 2002).

9 In culturally responsive classrooms, teachers also move beyond celebrating heritage months and famous people to make a bridge between diverse cultures and the dominant culture to develop and promote an appreciation for all cultures to improve curricular connections and academic achievement.

10 Teachers must modify their programs, curricula, and strategies for students from diverse cultures to be successful while simultaneously helping them to maintain their cultural identities (Maker & Schiever, 1989).

11 If I spent a day in your classroom what would I *see*feel*hear * to tell me about the diverse cultures that are represented in your room?

12 Schoolhouse giftedness (Renzulli and Reis, 1997), is characterized by good grades, high scores on standardized tests, and model classroom behavior. Those students from minority cultures who are identified as gifted and talented generally represent a fraction of the prospective talent or emerging gifts and talents of the large pool of culturally diverse students in our schools.

13 Your personal lens: Colours your world view Contributes to your cultural make- up Informs and influences your thinking and behaviour

14 Maori Learners – your lens: What do you *see*think*know* feel* about Maori learners? What is your evidence base? What is the nature and quality of your data? What does your analysis tell you? What will you do with this information?

15 Traditional western approach to teaching: What? Why? How? Who? (if considered at all) Traditional Tribal Approach to teaching: Who? (connections) Why? (purpose) How? (methodology) What? (knowledge)

16 Thinking about Maori gifted learners.

17 Dame Whina Cooper

18 Sir Peter Buck

19 Hongi Hika

20 Patricia Grace

21 Louisa Wall

22 Pita Sharples

23 Kiri Te Kanawa

24 Witi Ihimaera

25 Michael Campbell

26 Hinemoa and the Tribe

27 Billy T James

28 Keisha Castle- Hughes

29 Iriaka Matiu Ratana

30 Pero Cameron

31 The concept of giftedness and talent that belongs to a particular cultural group is shaped by its beliefs, attitudes, values and customs. The concept varies from culture to culture. It also varies over time. ‘Gifted and Talented Students - Meeting their Needs in New Zealand School’ - Learning Media 2000

32 Gifted students can be described as possessing an abundance of certain abilities that are most highly valued within a particular society or culture. Many children have special talents that are valued within their own cultures; unfortunately, these students are often not recognized as gifted and talented.

33 Most procedures used in the past for identifying gifted and talented students have been narrow and exclusive rather than looking for diverse gifts. Such procedures have led to an under- representation of Maori students in gifted and talented programmes, which in turn prevents our schools from developing the strengths and abilities of this special population.

34 Schools’ values are often in conflict with cultural values: Native American Children American Schools Home and community value interdependence. Value independence. Sit in circles, make collective decisions. Generally sit in rows and face the teacher. Gibson 1996

35 In Puerto Rico, children learn to seek the advice of their family rather than act independently (Perrone &Aleman 1983). Respect for elders is often valued more than precociousness, which can be seen as disrespectful. Gibson 1996

36 Tongan children learn that it is disrespectful to ask questions of adults. Gifted Samoan students use differing registers of language depending on who they are engaging with. Personal appearance can be an important characteristic of giftedness.

37 Similarly, the Mexican-American child who respects elders, the law, and authority becomes vulnerable in a school system that values individual competition, initiative, and self-direction. What are the parallels for gifted and talented Maori students in New Zealand schools? Gibson 1996

38 Just as gifted students are not a homogenous group, Maori gifted are not a homogenous group. They are not all good at music, kapahaka, playing the guitar and singing. They are not all excellent at sports. They don’t all learn best in groups. They are not all whakama.

39 Children from culturally different groups possess skills, concepts and information that many of their teachers have never had the opportunity to learn or understand. E. Paul Torrance

40 Jill Bevan-Brown found that Maori value a wide range of abilities and qualities, including spiritual, cognitive, affective, aesthetic, linguistic, artistic, musical, psychomotor, social, intuitive, creative, leadership, and cultural abilities and qualities.

41 It would be simplistic, however, to equate terms such as spiritual, artistic, musical, or leadership with Pakeha meanings of the terms. Maori have their own interpretations, which should be understood in their relationship to Maori culture. Maori tend to expect these abilities and qualities to be used in the service of others. (Bevan-Brown)

42 Identifying Characteristics of Maori Giftedness Manaakitanga: - generosity - honouring, caring and giving mana to people thus maintaining your own. - Pita and Claire Mahaki

43 Identifying Characteristics of Maori Giftedness Whanaungatanga (family values - relationships) Pita and Claire Mahaki:

44 Identifying Characteristics of Maori Giftedness Wairuatanga (balance – harmony, spirituality, being grounded, calm) Pita and Claire Mahaki:

45 Identifying Characteristics of Maori Giftedness Kaitiakitanga (care taker / guardianship of knowledge, environment and resources) Pita and Claire Mahaki:

46 Identifying Characteristics of Maori Giftedness Rangatiratanga (ranga – to weave, tira – a company – leadership that inspires unity) Pita and Claire Mahaki:

47 Identifying Characteristics of Maori Giftedness Matauranga (knowledge – intellect, thinking skills, wisdom, education, learned, studious) Pita and Claire Mahaki:

48 Identifying Characteristics of Maori Giftedness Te Mahi Rehia (Recreational Pursuits - physical and artistic performance) Pita and Claire Mahaki:

49 Identifying Characteristics of Maori Giftedness Tikanga (approved etiquette – correct behaviour, truthful, proper, respectful ). Pita and Claire Mahaki

50 In Groups: How might you recognise a students with this area of giftedness? In what ways might you cater for this aspect of giftedness in your programme?

51 For Maori students a culturally responsive environment is a place where spirituality is valued and acknowledged, where perseverance is rewarded, where caring for others is expected and where there are opportunities to work in groups and to be of service. The incorporation of Maori values allows Maori learners to demonstrate culturally valued qualities. - Jill Bevan-Brown

52 So what can we do?

53 Community Consultation: Limited exposure to the experiences viewed as valuable by the dominant culture can influence teacher perceptions of students’ academic abilities, thinking processes, creativity, and potential for high-level work Develop inclusive, culturally responsive identification procedures which includes consultation with the community Ask whanau what they consider to be unique in their culture, what they consider to be special gifts. Ask whanau what they think is special about this child. Don’t always expect the community to come to you - how can you become a member of the community?.

54 Cultural Strengths: What does the family/culture value? Where is there the opportunity for these children to learn about what their family values in school? Tongan families value fishing, weaving, gardening, building. How do you cater for students who are gifted in these cultural values/areas? (DVD)

55 In the classroom: Provide opportunities for Maori/Pasifika gifted learners to feel connected to you as a person and to the unit. Accept that there is Maori/Pasifika (or other culture’s) world view and show that you value it. Involve students in active, authentic problem solving activities. Incorporate aspects of community service. Consider how you can go beyond what schools usually do. Look for and use appropriate role models. (www.monumentalstories.gen.nz)www.monumentalstories.gen.nz

56 In the classroom: provide access to learning experiences in a manner that does not lead the students to deny or devalue their own cultural background. Explore various points of view and their validity in a cultural context. Provide opportunities that will allow characteristics of Maori (and other culture’s)giftedness to manifest. Go beyond window-dressing - show that the depth of cultural values and beliefs play a part in your classroom. Explore the concept of creativity and apply this in a cultural context. Assess students’ outcomes in the context of students' cultural environment.

57 Students creatively produce when they tap into their interests and strengths to develop products that address a real- world problem and/or audience. In what ways are your culturally diverse students developing products that make a difference to their world?

58 Move well beyond the celebration-of-culture weeks commonly found in schools (Banks, 1993). Stereotypes can be eliminated when material and learning experiences enable students to understand thesimilarities among individuals (Gomez, 1991), and all students can benefit from this approach. Students develop more positive racial attitudes when realistic images of ethnic and racial groups are included in teaching materials in a consistent, natural, and integrated manner (Banks, 1993).

59 Jill Bevan-Brown’s Tough Questions: Are we providing opportunities for students who are gifted in cultural areas to be recognised and extended? Does developing excellence in these areas receive the same priority, status, funding and time commitment as developing excellence in academic subjects? If cultural expertise is not treated equitably, what message does this give to students from minority cultures?

60 Ko au, ko koe Ko koe, ko au He taonga tuku iho Ki toku nei whakaaro Titiro ki muri Me haere Whakamua Know who you are Know where you are at Know how far you can go Flynn Cribb, Kaitaia Primary School, carries the NZ flag at the International Future Problem Solving Finals, Kentucky USA June 2005


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