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Defining Gifted Pasifika.....

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Started by Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu 12 Feb 2013 12:55pm () Replies (5)

What does the phrase "Gifted Pasifika" mean to you?

Please share your thoughts Cool


  • Anne Sturgess (View all users posts) 12 Feb 2013 4:36pm ()

    When I think of 'gifted Pasifika' I think of students who have the 'wow' factor across any domain including, but not limited to, those qualities, characteristics and behaviours that are especially valued within their own culture and fanau. As I consider your question the faces of students I've taught come to mind Smile and I recall the leadership qualities of Pasifika students who were strong in the knowledge and ways of their culture; the role models who not ony achieved to high levels themselves but actively raised the standard of others by encouraging them to also achieve. I look forward to hearing different perspectives on this topic - thanks for bringing it to our attention, Manu.

  • Moana Timoko (View all users posts) 12 Feb 2013 6:36pm ()

    "Gifted Pasifika" - I believe that 'Gifted children' have access to knowledge that they may not necessarily have learnt - They have a special sense of knowing, an ableness that allows them to tap into knowledge when they need it.  I'd be interested to learn about the different views of where traditional thought, knowledge stems from within each of the different Pasifika cultures.  I know about our kete mātauranga, our 3 baskets of knowledge - I don't know everything but have a strong belief about accessing knowledge from the kete...and that some already have access to knowledge from within the baskets...how??? I'm still doing my research in this area.  Interesting discussion - will definitely be following this.

  • Anne Sturgess (View all users posts) 12 Feb 2013 7:24pm ()

    Interesting thoughts, Moana - I tend to agree. There are examples of this level of 'already knowing' throughout history and I know, as a teacher, that I've taught students who 'just know.' There's an argument for 'inherited' or 'passed on' gifts and talents that are then grown through exposure to appropriate environmental catalysts, including teachers, whanau/fanau, coaches, etc. Manu has invesitgated Francoys Gagne's theory of the developmental nature of giftedness so I'll leave it to her to elaborate on it in this context. I think this inherited predisposition IS the gift and it's up to the individual and the community to grow the gift for the benefit of all. How does this fit with a Pasifika world view, Manu?

  • Aiono Manu Faaea-Semeatu (View all users posts) 19 Feb 2013 9:38am ()

    Great discussion so far ladies!

    Gagne's differentiated model of giftedness (2008) highlights "culture" as an environmental catalyst.  My master's research has found that in the development of the ten cultural identifiers, that culture is actually one of the domains for giftedness i.e. Pasifika giftedness stems from their giftedness in their culture.

    The ten cultural identifiers were created from canvassing the Pasifika parent community of the school I last taught in, consulting Pasifika parents whose children attended the high school, Pasifika members of PPTA and local community churches.  The cultural identifiers are universal amongst all Pasifika nations - there was no one Pasifika culture that outweighed another - so these cultural identifiers represent what Pasifika giftedness looks like for Pasifika parents.

    I agree with Anne that the inherited predisposition is the gift.  The problem lies in how the Pasifika world view is valued in schools, how it can be facilitated by a teacher within their classroom and how the school can approach how to cater for Pasifika students in this manner, as deficit theory has been the prominent worldview for Pasifika students, looking at the lack of Pasifika students success in the NZ curriculum.  I argue that there is an "identity continuum" which means that there are many different types of Pasifika students - those fluent in their Pasifika languages, those who are not, those who have a strong understanding of the customs and practices of their Pasifika cultures, those who have been denied the opportunity, and those who would like the opportunity to do so.  The identity continuum highlights the need for schools to be able to identify how Pasifika students view themselves, and must therefore provide personalised learning programmes that strengthen and value Pasifika students.


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Gifted Pasifika Education

Gifted Pasifika Education

Choosing to view Pasifika as gifted students, seeing their cultural strengths and using their strengths to transition into academic success in the classroom