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Identifying giftedness at St Pauls College

A Pasifika teacher outlines the process of how he uses the cultural identifiers for giftedness and applies these identifiers to students that he teaches. The Pasifika teacher also shared his presentation of the process and an explanation of gifted and talented Pasifika students.



In terms of identifying gifted Pasifika students at St Pauls I found it very useful in the past just identifying gifted students has been based purely based on academic success so in terms of the projects and identifying giftedness in the Pasifika sense has definitely kinda opened my eyes to that there are other ways of identifying giftedness not just within the classroom, but particularly in terms of linking Polyfest with academic success -  just looking at giftedness in a whole new light.

I think in terms of shifting my thinking I do always have high expectation of my students but I think just kinda reinforcing that and because here we have streamed classes I think sometimes there is that assumption that the lower streams may not have the same motivation as the higher band. Particularly identifying Pasifika giftedness you know shows that high expectations don’t just apply to those that are in the higher streams but also those in the lower bands.

Yeah in terms of the cultural identifiers that we identified, I think the three that really applied to our school were leadership, commitment to excellence and also church affiliation. We are a catholic school, but in saying that, there are a lot of boys who aren’t catholic, but they have a strong church affiliation so particularly there are a lot of boys who are strongly involved in their church and have a lot of strong church commitments, and particularly with leadership, obviously we have the prefect system here at school, but also for the boys who have quite a strong church affiliation they do have leadership roles within their churches, which we don’t always see at school, but outside of school they have those leadership roles as well, and particularly in the last couple of years in term of our school goals has been to raise achievement, and being a predominantly Pasifika school, our aim has obviously been to raise the achievement of Pasifika boys, so commitment to excellence is something that we’ve developed quite strongly in the past couple of years, and the boys have shown that and it’s been reflected in their results.

Yeah, so at the VPLD Hui, we were given the opportunity to speak to the other people at the conference and I was able to, we were able to, do interviews with our three identified gifted students, Pasifika students, so for that PowerPoint, we shared a PowerPoint where we asked a couple of specific questions in terms of the student voice, so  just asking them questions about how their culture affected them within the classroom, how they were able to relate positive aspects of their culture relating it to their success at school and also the way they apply it to their daily lives at school. It just allowed us to show others an example of what Pasifika students feel and think about their culture and how it relates to them at school. It’s something that they obviously always think about but it’s not necessarily always shown or discussed so I think a big positive with that is that they were able to discuss it openly and honestly.