The Development of Mana: Five Optimal Conditions for Gifted Māori Student Success

  • Melinda WebberEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


There are a growing number of gifted Māori students not just attaining educational success but thriving in the schooling context. Educational psychology has much to learn from these students, and it is incumbent upon researchers to empirically analyse the drivers of their success. While it has been acknowledged that self-concept, self-esteem, and self-efficacy affect the academic engagement of Māori students (Meissel & Rubie-Davies, Br J Educ Psychol 86(1):92–111., 2016; Webber, Look to the past, stand tall in the present: the integral nature of positive racial-ethnic identity for the academic success of Māori students. In: Vialle W (ed) Giftedness from an indigenous perspective. University of Wollongong Printery, Unanderra, pp 100–110, 2011; Zdrenka, Yogeeswaran, Stronge, & Sibley, Int J Intercult Relat 49:114–120,, 2015), few studies have examined the affective and psychosocial drivers of success, or the role of cultural factors, in the academic performance of gifted Māori students. In this chapter, the author contributes to this discussion by focussing on how self-perceptions about the value of their racial-ethnic identity and family support affect the motivation and academic engagement of gifted Māori students in New Zealand. It will be argued that little will be done to improve gifted Māori students’ academic engagement and social-emotional wellbeing, until educators focus specifically on the development of students’ connectedness to their racial-ethnic identity and their sense of mana (pride, status, and esteem). The importance and manifestation of mana in gifted Māori students’ lives and other psychosocial issues facing them will be highlighted. Solutions for change will be offered using a mana model developed as part of the 2014 Ka Awatea study (Macfarlane, Webber, McRae, & Cookson-Cox, Ka Awatea: an iwi case study of Māori students’ success. [Manuscript]. University of Auckland, Auckland. Retrieved from, 2014).


Gifted Māori Cultural efficacy Mana Connectedness Racial-ethnic identity Educational success 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education and Social WorkThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

Section editors and affiliations

  • María Leonor Conejeros-Solar
    • 1
  • Sheyla Blumen
    • 2
  1. 1.Pontificia Universidad Católica de ValparaísoValparaísoChile
  2. 2.Dept. of PsychologyPontificia Universidad Católica del PerúLimaPerú

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