30 Mar 2012

Cultural difference dogs gifted Maori children

6:46 am on 30 March 2012

Pakeha parents are more willing to nominate their children as being gifted, than Maori parents who are whakama (embarrassed) about what could be seen as skiting, says an education expert.

Jill Bevan-Brown - a Massey University associate professor regarded as the nation's most experienced researcher of gifted and talented Maori students - is being given the inaugural Te Manu Kotuku award at the Gifted NZ conference in Wellington.

She says there's now a much greater awareness of gifted Maori students than when she began her research in 1993, but there's still work to be done.

Reluctance on the part of Maori parents to "skite" about their children is just one of the issues which needs to be addressed when it comes to identifying gifted Maori children.

Prof Bevan-Brown says generally teachers all over New Zealand do a great job to provide a supportive environment for gifted Maori pupils, but a shortage of Maori teachers makes it hard for some students.