GIFTED EDUCATION:
Underachievement

Susan Cohoon – Iowa, U.S.A.




Myths/Truths --- “Dirty” Little Secret
At-Risk
   Drop...
Can you tell which of these
students are gifted?
Myth
• Global giftedness –
  general intellectual
  power across the
  board.


                         Truth
           ...
Truth
                           • Artistically or
                             athletically gifted
                      ...
Myths                Truths
Giftedness –
• high IQ         • Little evidence
                    giftedness in
• “made” by...
MoreTruths

                             • Environment
 • Giftedness is inborn         • powerful influence on
           ...
Education’s Dirty Secret
• Gifted education is often
  haphazard, ineffective, and
  under funded.




Strip & Hirsch, 200...
Testing Issues
• Can put child
under stress

• Scores affected
                                       • TEST BIASES
by env...
Education systems rarely
provides what gifted
students need:
  •Work that challenges to extent
  of abilities
     •in env...
Some uncomfortable
being called “gifted”




                        Rimm, 2006
UNDERACHIEVEMENT
• Belief only perfection can
  rescue damaged self
  • interferes with performance
• All-or-nothing think...
Underachievement
Syndrome
• Feeds on itself
   • Grows until something or someone intervenes




• Classroom
   •   Rarely...
• Goals too high /too low,
                              guaranteeing failure
                            • deny opportuni...
Behavior Problems




                    Ruf, 2005
Mental
                           Stimulation
• Kept with age peers
    •   wait for others to catch up
    •   stunt grow...
Iowa Acceleration
Scale



           • Is grade acceleration
             appropriate.
             • Single subject
    ...
Acceleration –
the Best Alternative
• GED or state standardized tests
  • taken at early ages to go to college
           ...
Types of Acceleration
• Early admission
  • Kindergarten, First Grade
  • Middle School, High School
  • College
• Grade s...
Educational
                         Plan?
• With well thought-out written plan
     • gifted child with advance developme...
• For every year a highly gifted child is
       left in regular, un-enriched classrooms,
       a year is lost of what th...
• Students must be
  encouraged to
  exercise their minds
  to the best of their
  abilities

•   Rimm, 1995
Sources
•   Colangelo, N., Asuline, S.G., & Gross, M.U.M. (2004). A
    nation deceived: How schools hold back America's b...
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G I F T E D E D U C A T I O N and Underachievement

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Presentation at World Summit on Gifted Underachievement 2009

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G I F T E D E D U C A T I O N and Underachievement

  1. 1. GIFTED EDUCATION: Underachievement Susan Cohoon – Iowa, U.S.A. Myths/Truths --- “Dirty” Little Secret At-Risk Drop-Outs----Behavior Issues Acceleration
  2. 2. Can you tell which of these students are gifted?
  3. 3. Myth • Global giftedness – general intellectual power across the board. Truth • Gifted in one academic area • Learning disabled in another
  4. 4. Truth • Artistically or athletically gifted children = not really that different from Myth academically gifted • Children with exceptional ability in art = simply talented.
  5. 5. Myths Truths Giftedness – • high IQ • Little evidence giftedness in • “made” by nonacademic areas overzealous requires exceptional IQ parents • Parents highly involved • Face ridicule, taunts, • glowing with socially isolate and psychological unhappy health
  6. 6. MoreTruths • Environment • Giftedness is inborn • powerful influence on development of gifts • Gifted children • All children are gifted • special needs • Very few gifted become • Gifted children become prominent adult prominent adults creators. More Myths Winner, 1996
  7. 7. Education’s Dirty Secret • Gifted education is often haphazard, ineffective, and under funded. Strip & Hirsch, 2000; Davidson & Davidson, 2004 Colangelo, Asuline, & Gross, 2004
  8. 8. Testing Issues • Can put child under stress • Scores affected • TEST BIASES by environment • Favor those fluent in English Strip and Hirsh, 2000 • Exclude minorities • Lower socio- • Tests administered by economic psychologist • Recent • more reliable than group tests. immigrants Rimm, 1995 • ELL students
  9. 9. Education systems rarely provides what gifted students need: •Work that challenges to extent of abilities •in environment with other kids who love to learn •Advanced academic curriculum to abilities •Opportunity to explore topics in depth •surrounded by academic peers. Davidson & Davidson, 2004
  10. 10. Some uncomfortable being called “gifted” Rimm, 2006
  11. 11. UNDERACHIEVEMENT • Belief only perfection can rescue damaged self • interferes with performance • All-or-nothing thinking • unrealistic goal setting (Rathvon, 1996) • Avoid competition • miss important skills (Rimm, 1995)
  12. 12. Underachievement Syndrome • Feeds on itself • Grows until something or someone intervenes • Classroom • Rarely pay attention • Little or no studying • Do not do homework or complete assignments (Rimm, 1995) • Counterproductive classroom behavior (Rathvon, 1996)
  13. 13. • Goals too high /too low, guaranteeing failure • deny opportunity to •Disorganization build confidence •Lack of personal control • refuse to risk failure over educational success (Rimm, 2006)
  14. 14. Behavior Problems Ruf, 2005
  15. 15. Mental Stimulation • Kept with age peers • wait for others to catch up • stunt growth in order not to appear different. • fail to develop discipline and confidence that comes from being challenged to the extent of abilities. • Stunting the growth of gifted children • limits ability of society to make great leaps in art & science • True social justice • providing education that challenges all students to extent of abilities (Davidson & Davidson, 2004)
  16. 16. Iowa Acceleration Scale • Is grade acceleration appropriate. • Single subject acceleration or mentorship
  17. 17. Acceleration – the Best Alternative • GED or state standardized tests • taken at early ages to go to college Davidson & Davidson, 2004 • Acceleration levels playing field of opportunity •cost to the family or school minimal Colangelo, Assouline, Gross, 2004
  18. 18. Types of Acceleration • Early admission • Kindergarten, First Grade • Middle School, High School • College • Grade skipping • Subject matter or partial acceleration • Curriculum Compacting • Dual enrollment • Correspondence Classes • Advanced Placement (Rimm, 1995)
  19. 19. Educational Plan? • With well thought-out written plan • gifted child with advance development in one or more areas receive consistent curriculum and school instruction • geared to academic ability and potential • Without an appropriate educational plan • gifted children often lose excitement for learning (Rogers, 2002)
  20. 20. • For every year a highly gifted child is left in regular, un-enriched classrooms, a year is lost of what the intellectual capabilities could have been • (Davidson & Davidson, 2004)
  21. 21. • Students must be encouraged to exercise their minds to the best of their abilities • Rimm, 1995
  22. 22. Sources • Colangelo, N., Asuline, S.G., & Gross, M.U.M. (2004). A nation deceived: How schools hold back America's brightest students. Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa Press. • Davidson, J., & Davidson, B. with Vanderkam, L. (2004). Genius denied. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. • Rimm, S.B. (1995). Why bright kids get poor grades: And what you can do about it. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press. • Rimm, S.B. (2006). When gifted students underachieve: What you can co about it. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press. • Rogers, K.B. (2002). Re-forming gifted education: Matching the program to the child.. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press, Inc.. • Ruf, D.L. (2005). Losing our mind: Gifted children left behind. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press, Inc.. • Strip, C.A., & Hirsch, G. (2000). Helping gifted children soar. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press, Inc. • Winner, E. (1996). Gifted children: Myths and realities. New York, NY: Basic Books.

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