Kiwiana (Gifted and Talented)

The Gifted and Talented Programme at East Taieri School is run under the umbrella of a programme called KIWIANA GROUP. Kiwiana Group at East Taieri School is an extension group of Year 2 and 3 children from the Junior and Middle School and 4,5 and 6 children from the middle and Senior School.  Its aim is to enrich and provide experiences to extend children who show particular ability or strength in a specific area, whether it be written language, maths, science, thinking, problem solving, inquiry or creativity. Kiwiana Group takes place on a Wednesday  – the Senior Group in the morning and the Junior Group in the afternoon.

Natalie King is the GATE coordinator and the teacher responsible for the programme. She can be contacted at natalie@east-taieri.school.nz

The Program is based upon:

The Autonomous Learner Model

Developed by Betts in 1985, this model focuses primarily on meeting the cognitive, emotional, and social needs of year 1–13 able students, through the development of autonomy and lifelong learning.

The aim of the model is to give students the content, process, and product know-how that enables them to take responsibility for developing, implementing, and evaluating their own learning.

The model has five interactive dimensions.

Explanations of segments of model

 Orientation gives students and teachers an opportunity to develop a foundation for the programme. In this dimension, students are introduced to the structure of the programme, including the activities and their own responsibilities. A unique aspect of this model is that it also encourages an investigation of concepts of giftedness, including group-building and self-understanding exercises. (This is relevant even though we are not necessarily identifying all our students in this group as ‘gifted’.)

Individual development serves as a launching pad for giving students the cognitive, emotional, and social skills, and concepts and attitudes they need for lifelong autonomous learning. This dimension is very much process oriented and thus is similar to Renzulli’s type II activities.

Enrichment activities are designed to allow students to explore a variety of concepts and ideas. The intent of this dimension is to spark student interest, encourage the discovery of their strengths, and begin to unearth their passions. Content differentiation is the key element here, mirroring Renzulli’s type I enrichment.

Seminars serve as an avenue for groups of students to each research a topic and present a seminar to other students. The seminars are designed to include three components:

  • presentation of factual information
  • group discussion and/or activity
  • bringing closure to the issue.

Students plan, present, and evaluate the seminars, shifting the responsibility for learning from the teacher to themselves.

In-depth study is the most demanding and challenging dimension of the model, with small groups or individual students being given the freedom to pursue their own areas of interest. Students themselves determine:

  • what they will learn
  • how they will learn it
  • what resources are needed
  • how they will evidence their learning through a self-selected product
  • how they will evaluate the entire learning process.

A contract is used to support this dimension. In-depth study integrates the other dimensions of the model, much as type III enrichment does in the Triad Model.