What is giftedness?
Your child may be a gifted maths student if they meet some of the following criteria:
- They have an ongoing strong interest in maths and fascination with mathematical things.
- They often start conversations about maths ideas.
- They sometimes solve maths problems more quickly than adults.
- They enjoy and are very good at puzzles and memory games.
- They notice and are particularly curious about patterns, shapes, maps, and measurements.
- They have an intuitive and strong understanding of numbers and number problems.
A good definition of giftedness is:
“…those with exceptional abilities relative to most other people. These individuals have certain learning characteristics that give them the potential to achieve outstanding performance.”(Office of the Minister of Education, 2002)
What can I do?
If you think your child may be gifted, you could start by talking to their teacher. They should be able to advise you about what to do next and provide contact details of those who can help if more support or information is needed. All schools in New Zealand should have systems in place for identifying and catering for gifted and talented students. Be aware that the criteria your child’s school uses to identify students requiring particular extension or support within the school will be more specific and may be quite different to those described here.
The New Zealand Association for Gifted Children (NZAGC) exists to promote the needs of gifted kids at national level and support and foster initiatives at local level which meet those needs.