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Being of Like-Mind: Giftedness in the New Zealand Context

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Handbook of Giftedness and Talent Development in the Asia-Pacific

Part of the book series: Springer International Handbooks of Education ((SIHE))

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Gifted and talented learners in New Zealand are identified by their special abilities and qualities, across a range of areas, often by classroom teachers who make an effort to serve their needs in regular classrooms. The opportunity for learning with other like-minded peers is most commonly facilitated in within-class ability groups or withdrawal or pull-out programs; as an example, the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education (NZCGE) provides a one-day-a-week program, MindPlus, for intellectually and creatively gifted children. Gifted and talented students are said to benefit from learning with like-minds, but there is limited research investigating what it means to be like-minded or how like-minds perceive the benefits and challenges of learning together. A mixed methods study, using student surveys, individual interviews, and focus group discussions probed perceptions of like-mindedness, as a basis for students working with the researcher to co-construct the implications for practice. Students most often referred to ‘thinking’ as the common denominator of like-mindedness, with their like-minded peers described as other gifted students, family members, and their specialist teachers. The perspectives of participants in this study support the important connections between how and what one thinks, in relation to their peers, particularly in contexts for learning. Engaging with like-minded peers afforded these gifted students not only opportunities for learning, but also a sense of belonging and the chance to learn more about managing self, relating to others, participating, and contributing. Implications for practice include the need for ability grouping for learning and socialisation.

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Correspondence to Tracy Riley .

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Riley, T. (2021). Being of Like-Mind: Giftedness in the New Zealand Context. In: Smith, S.R. (eds) Handbook of Giftedness and Talent Development in the Asia-Pacific. Springer International Handbooks of Education. Springer, Singapore.

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