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

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Handbook of Giftedness and Talent Development in the Asia-Pacific

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Abstract

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, 2016; Webber, 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 focusing 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 well-being, 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 Ka Awatea study (Macfarlane, Webber, McRae, & Cookson-Cox, 2014).

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Correspondence to Melinda Webber .

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Webber, M. (2021). The Development of Mana: Five Optimal Conditions for Gifted Māori Student Success. In: Smith, S.R. (eds) Handbook of Giftedness and Talent Development in the Asia-Pacific. Springer International Handbooks of Education. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3041-4_31

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