Special Interest Groups

giftEDnz is interested in supporting equitable educational opportunities for gifted and talented learners. We would like to achieve this goal through the work of Special Interest Groups, collectives of professionals with shared interests, collaborating to develop and share resources such as: journal articles, books, websites, workshops, and so on.

Current Special Interest Groups:


Special Interest Groups in Action

In 2014 and again in 2016, an invitation to apply to attend a Writing Retreat was extended to New Zealand based emerging researchers in the field of gifted education, with the successful applicants coming together to network and be mentored.

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Recently, mentors Tracy Riley and Nadine Ballam spent several days working with keen emerging researchers Idoya Munn, Carrie Vander Zwaag, and Andi Delaune.  During this time, participants were able to write, discuss, and develop their piece of writing, to bring it to a stage nearing ready for publication.

In 2014, mentors, Louise Tapper, Tracy Riley and Janna Wardman, provided the same sort of guidance and support to help participants in developing a piece of work for publication in APEX, the New Zealand Journal of gifted Education, based on their research. Those who attended the Retreat also developed a presentation to share their work at the national gifted education conference – Ignited.

Here’s what some of the participants have to say about the experience.

The emerging researchers writers’ retreat was an incredible opportunity unlike anything I had previously experienced–an entire weekend to not only intensively focus on my research without the distractions of everyday life but to get candid and professional feedback from leading researchers in the field on my writing and insight into their perspectives into research and life in general. What a joy to be immersed in an environment of like-minded people with a passion for learning and youth! Everything was terrifically organised (even airport pickup and drop off) and food was scrumptious too.

– Carrie

Over the sound of the pouring rain, a sound could be heard. A tap tap tap that stopped with regular intervals, then was followed by a more insistent tapping. Every now and again, this was punctuated with a heavy sigh, or an occasional exclamation. Then the tapping continued…

On a grey, stormy weekend, three intrepid writers and two esteemed mentors, united for a shared purpose: to increase the exposure of gifted education research in NZ journals. I joined Carrie, Idoya, Tracy and Nadine early on a Saturday morning (8am to be precise), to find that all were already engaged in varying forms of enterprise to reach this goal. Starting with a healthy breakfast, we all set out on our varying paths to work to produce an article based on our research to be published in an upcoming NZ journal.

Over the course of the weekend, our days were split between intense periods of writing, and intense feedback sessions from the mentors. Breaking for meal times meant opportunities for collegiality to be built amongst the members of the team. We revelled in the chance to share a gnarly composition problem, often to find it became less convoluted when viewed from another angle. Despite the varying research areas, our diverse foci were coalesced by our shared concern for optimal education conditions for gifted learners’. The team environment reaffirmed our passion and rigour for the mission of the retreat, and reenergised the purpose of our involvement in gifted education.

At the end of this process, I feel more privileged to be a part of giftEDnz than I ever have been. Not only have I had the chance to build up my own professional writing skills, but I have had the opportunity to be guided by venerated writers, and work with up and coming authors in gifted education. If you ever have the chance to be a part of the giftEDnz Emerging Researchers retreat, I strongly suggest that you take grab this opportunity with both hands and hold on tight. It will be one of the best decisions you can make as an emerging researcher.

– Andrea

In this talk, Eunice, A previous Writing Retreat participant, shares the findings of her Masters Dissertation research, which looked at the way teenage girls use and engage with Social Networking media, and explores the implications this has in the school context.

Eunice-Price from EDtalks on Vimeo.


Get Involved

If you would like to become involved in one of the these Special Interest Groups or you have an interest in a different area of focus and would like to explore the possibility of developing a new Special Interest Group, please contact giftEDnz. Funding is available to support the development of new Special Interest Groups, and initiatives of both existing and new SIG groups. For further information about this click here.