Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Gifted Pasifika learners - what do they look like?

This blog post is dedicated to Vivienne Russell, a dear friend and colleague who has been the inspiration behind my keen interest in Pasifika giftedness.  Congratulations on receiving confirmation of your Masters in Education, focusing on gifted Māori learners and engaging whānau :-)

(A bit of a Twilight Zone moment really - she called to tell me her news when I was writing this post!! Remember what I said about like minds in the last post people?? Connections, connections!!)

Back to the studio.....
In 2009, I had the privilege of being able to develop cultural identifiers based on concepts of Pasifika giftedness from consultation with Pasifika parent communities of the school I worked in, together with NZPPTA Pasifika teachers in Auckland.

Intrigued? It would probably pay for you to have a read of the article where I discuss the cultural identifiers first, before coming back to the blog.  So, here are some options.  Don't shoot me, but I will probably sound like a call centre operator right now....

1. If you need to read the full article - click here
2. If you have already read the article, please hold...... now carry on reading!

I wanted to highlight the cultural identifiers here as I understand that some people might not have already had access to it before and what better way to share it than on a blog!

1, Adaptability (for example, strategically adapts to New Zealand or Pasifika thinking)

2. Memory (for example. cites formal Pasifika customs and familial and village links)

3. Church affiliation (for example, uses knowledge and experience to benefit others)

4. Commitment to excellence (for example, seeks self-improvement)

5. Relationships (for example, uses talents to promote positive relationships)

6. Resilience (for example, reacts to situations with purpose and dialogue)

7. Lineage/birthright (for example, family traditions shape experience)

8. Language fluency (for example, communicates in oral/written forms of their mother language) - identity continuum features quite heavily here (future subject of another blog!)

9.  Leadership (for example, faithful service progresses to leadership)

10. Representation (for example, successful career pathways reflect on parents)

The article is a result of a workshop I presented at the AAEGT 11th Asia-Pacific Conference on Giftedness hosted in Darling Harbour, Sydney, 29th July - 1st August 2010.

  • Faaea-Semeatu, T. (2011). “Celebrating Gifted Roots: Gifted and Talented Pacific Island (Pasifika) Students”. In Giftedness from an Indigenous Perspective, ed. W. Vialle. Papers from the 11th Asia Pacific Conference on Giftedness, Sydney, 29 July–1 August 2010. Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented/Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.  Available at