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New Zealand Association for Gifted Children

NZAGC Publications

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Tall Poppies

A quality magazine aimed at gifted children and their families, professionals in the field of gifted education, and the general public. It is published in hard copy once a year and posted to all NZAGC members (including overseas members) as part of their subscription. Tall Poppies Espresso is published every two months from 2019.

Position statements

We periodically issue position statements addressing critical issues, policies and practices related to the education of gifted and talented children and young people. An aim of these statements is to provide clarification on the position of our organisation, based on an evidence-base of theory, policy, research and practice, within the context of Aotearoa New Zealand. In other words, these statements are designed as a way of helping others understand where the NZAGC, sometimes in collaboration with other national organisations, stands in relationship to critical issues in the education of gifted and talented students.

Sharing Our Stories

  • 22 Jun 2024 5:38 PM | Anonymous

    Labelling a child as "gifted" can have both positive and negative implications, and it is essential to consider the impact it may have on the child, their education, and their overall well-being:

    Positive Aspects:

    • Recognition and Support: Identifying a child as gifted can lead to recognition of their unique abilities and talents, which may prompt educators and parents to provide appropriate support, resources, and opportunities for enrichment and advanced learning.
    • Tailored Education: Being labelled as gifted may open doors to specialised educational programs or services designed to meet the child's advanced learning needs, such as gifted education programs, accelerated coursework, or mentorship opportunities.
    • Positive Self-Identity: For some gifted children, being labelled as gifted can foster a positive self-identity and sense of belonging, especially if they have previously felt misunderstood or out of place in traditional educational settings.

    Negative Aspects:

    • Pressure and Expectations: The label of "gifted" can sometimes place undue pressure and high expectations on the child to constantly perform at exceptional levels, leading to stress, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy if they struggle or underperform in certain areas.
    • Social and Emotional Challenges: Gifted children may face social and emotional challenges related to their intellectual abilities, such as feeling isolated from peers, experiencing perfectionism, or grappling with asynchronous development, where cognitive abilities outpace emotional maturity.
    • Stigmatization and Stereotypes: Giftedness can be misunderstood or subject to stereotypes, leading to stigmatization or misconceptions about the child's abilities or behaviours. This may result in the child feeling labelled or judged based solely on their intellectual capacity.


    • Holistic Approach: It is important to adopt a holistic approach to understanding and supporting gifted children, recognizing that giftedness is just one aspect of their identity and development. Emphasize the importance of nurturing their social, emotional, and creative growth alongside their intellectual abilities.
    • Strengths-Based Perspective: Focus on identifying and nurturing the child's strengths and interests rather than solely on their label of giftedness. Encourage a growth mindset and celebrate effort, resilience, and exploration.
    • Individualized Support: Provide individualized support that meets the child's unique learning needs, preferences, and challenges, whether they are labelled as gifted or not. Tailor educational experiences to promote engagement, curiosity, and well-rounded development.
    • Open Dialogue: Maintain open communication with the child, their parents, and educators to understand their perspectives, concerns, and goals. Create a supportive environment where the child feels empowered to advocate for their needs and express their feelings and experiences.

    In summary, while labelling a child as gifted can have benefits in terms of recognition and support, it is essential to approach it thoughtfully, considering the potential impact on the child's well-being and development. Emphasising a strengths-based, holistic approach and providing individualized support can help nurture the whole child and promote positive outcomes.

  • 11 Jun 2024 11:59 AM | Anonymous

    Opening the door…………….

    Last week I happened to be present while a group of gifted eight and nine-year-olds were discussing rather a big question: is art necessary?

    The debate was lively, especially round the issue of whether art could be judged by how much people were willing to pay for it. Was that an indicator of how necessary art is? The children questioned the astronomical sums that are sometimes paid: was that how its value could be judged? They could not agree. But one boy had a different thought: the value of art, he said, lies in how it makes you feel. Ultimately this became the shared answer for them all.

    That led into a session where children made an art work of their own. Many and varied were the results, but I was particularly fascinated by one construction: a workable door in a frame.

    Made of sheets of cardboard some five feet high, the door was cut out, hinges were made and fixed to the frame, the whole thing was painted green, and then a door handle was made and painted gold. A symbolic circle in a soft pink was painted above the door.

    But what was behind the door? Where did it lead to? It was, the girls said, the Door to Life.

    That apparently simple answer left me reflecting on the depth of comprehension that lay behind their careful construction – and on the value of providing opportunities for gifted children like these to explore and express such profound ideas and feelings.

    There are, I know, teachers and classrooms out there which do provide such opportunities. But it is an accident of fortune for a gifted child to find themselves in such a situation.

    While our teaching profession and our trainers of teachers remain so firmly convinced that this is all so unnecessary, that crucial door will continue to be firmly closed.

    We as advocates must continue to fight for those children who see their own need for that open door and who try so valiantly to let us understand their need.

    Author: Rosemary Cathcart became a member of the NZAGC way back in 1981, was later a national Chair, and gratefully carried everything she learned in that role into her subsequent lifetime of work in the field.

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