Equity: translating a bright idea into practice

Year: 2001

Author: Keen, David

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Universally, pioneer societies attempt to synthesize elitism and egalitarianism. Dichotomy remains long-embedded in their cultural heritage. Within New Zealand, publicity coupled with controversy, relating to the education of gifted and talented children and students, is linked to such dichotomy.

The paper Equity: translating a bright idea into practice offers interim findings collated at the mid-point of the most comprehensive survey of the education of gifted and talented children and students ever undertaken in New Zealand. The survey covers all areas of pre-tertiary education: pre-school. primary, intermediate and secondary. It includes a diverse range of urban and rural schools and centres.

In an analytical, comparative and evaluative study, the survey reports on the philosophy of gifted education, as currently perceived in the participating schools and centres. It outlines the demographic profile of children and students being identified as gifted, and matches this profile against the gender, ethnic and socio-economic spectrum of the student population as a whole. Analysing the programmes currently used, by participating schools and centres, to service the needs of their gifted children and students, the paper offers a reasoned explanation of the strategies which the participants, in the light of their 2001 experience, propose to adopt in the year 2002.