Characteristics Of Gifted Underachievers Education Essay

This selective overview of literature aims to establish the characteristics of gifted underachievers, know the causative factors contributing to their underachievement, understand various strategies universities and educators could choose in reversing scholar underachievement, and present the implications of these.

Characteristics of gifted underachievers

It is very important to educators to truly have a clear understanding concerning who are considered gifted underachievers in the school room. Amazingly, the number of highly intellectual students who hadn't achieved well in university is as high as 50% (Schultz, 2005). Comprising this group is a sizable society of underserved or neglected talented students by gifted programs. If this number is not provided essential attention, it is important therefore that issue needs to be addressed. A survey of existing books seemed to disagree not only on the definition of underachievement but the legitimacy of categorizing gifted underachievement as an academics patterns. The controversial review in Moon (2004) sent shockwaves to the scientific community by saying that some experts believed underachievement is simplistically attributed to test problem. Yet scientists like Rimm have dedicated their entire professional employment opportunities reversing underachievement.

Chaffey (2004) emphasized that the underachievement description followed by the educator will serve as basis for figuring out underachievers and therefore the students obtaining appropriate plan of action. Having successfully regarded gifted underachievers in the class will allow instructors' expectations to be shifted up-wards as research firmly suggests that advanced academic performance in underachieving students is linked to high teacher anticipations. Various studies point to its multi-faceted characteristics which has sometimes muddied educational experts in the field; but no matter origin, underachievement is defined as the discrepancy between expected and real achievement.

Morando (2003) of the Columbiana Co. Educational Service Center said that gifted underachievers tend to be disorganized and their schoolwork is either incomplete or absent. Though IQ ratings are extremely high set alongside the average, there's a consistent decrease in academic potential and exhibit disinterest in attending school. Moreover, the student may also be a loner, has low self-esteem, emotionally frustrated, and is also economically disadvantaged.

Lau and Chan (2001) referred to the motivational characteristics of underachieving junior high school students in Hong Kong after subjecting these to various measures specifically Raven Progressive Matrices Test, vocabulary test, standardized achievements test, Marsh self information questionnaire, Causal dimensions level, Eccles and Wigfield's expectancy value model, and Motivated approaches for learning questionnaire. The results exhibited low academic

self-concept, poor attainment value in learning as well as zero utilizing effective learning methods. The analysis also disproved the final outcome of Western researches that HK underachievers show maladaptive attribution habits.

Chow, Chow, and Ku-Yu (2003) conducted a case study affecting five underachieving gifted students and used Whitmore's checklist in characterizing their actions. The study yielded the following characteristics in the students: high external locus of control, bad attitude towards school, experience difficulty in building social relationships, set unworkable goals, attention deficit inside the class room, resistance in pursuing instructions, has a very varied range of interests, exhibits competitive behavior, has low self-esteem, avoidant in trying out new activities, devotion in self-selected homework and projects, dissatisfaction with achievements, dislike of memorization and drill, poor school work, and significant difference between quality of written and oral work.

Dixon, Craven, and Martin (2006) accepted underachievement as a difficulty in a few gifted children. The aim of the analysis is compare the affective characteristics of reaching and underachieving gifted children. The test population was divided into three- high, moderate, and under achievers. Three constructs were assessed in two events- educational self-concept, self-expectations of future educational achievement and educational locus of control. Of all the three parameters, significant variations were mentioned in self-expectations for future achievements.

Researchers warned of the necessity to effectively identify underachieving gifted students in Hong Kong. Phillipson and Tse (2007) compared the effectiveness of three underachievement estimation methods particularly: absolute break up, simple difference, and regression methods. The last two find more application in the id of underachievers in all ability levels. However, all three are dependent on invariant, additive, and unidimensional measurements. With modern dimension theory utilizing Rasch way of measuring models being created, gratifying all requirements given is possible. The analysis investigated 957 Principal 5 students in Hong Kong asked to accomplish a mathematics achievement and Ravens Progressive Matrices test so that percentage of underachievement can be predicted across all capability levels. The Rasch models were put on create the dimension scales for incomplete credit and dichotomous responses per varying, correspondingly, and students given to each range in accordance with their replies. Because results were based on invariant way of measuring scales between individuals, figuring out underachievement can be considered objective rather than sample-dependent.

Causes of underachievement

This literature review will reveal significant divergence in view on the reasons for underachievement in students especially those who are intellectually gifted. But how do an intellectually gifted university student underachieve? Implicitly defined, a gifted learner is one whose brains level is very high and consistently carries out in these high levels (Clark, 2002). Underachievement, on the other hand, is associated with failing to perform well in university. The mismatch of the terms, giftedness and underachievement is puzzling, nor blend very well together. Similar to an oxymoron, both are polar opposites in the educational spectrum. It is no surprise that this sensation in intellectually gifted individuals remains a mystery to be fixed and there were several tries at dissecting its root causes. Suffice to state that underachievement is induced by factors both in school and family (Sousa, 2003).

As to when underachievement in gifted students get started, Reiss (2000) offered an explanation. Commonly, underachievement commences at later primary levels then in junior senior high school and earlier starting point occurs in males than females. Findings indicate that stage in the educational employment opportunities of students is meaningful for teachers since the problem manifest more visibly at this stage. For instance, the quantity of assigned duties or homework raises in later elementary and junior senior high school levels, and students refusing to perform homework or get it done with little attention or attention may be discovered. Some may easily achieve without effort during the early on university years but fail when they counter the challenges of increased home work, real creation or strenuous effort are believed underachievers.

Reis and McCoach (2000) cited insufficient drive from parents and teachers could adversely impact academic achievements in primary, extra and tertiary students. Thus, Whitmore and Rand (2000) advised that underachieving intellectually gifted children needed determination from teachers because of discrepancies in the student's learning style and educator's instructional method.

A variety of school-related factors were in charge of the event of underachievement in gifted children (Chow, Chow, & Ku-Yu, 2003). First, there is certainly high dominance of the tutor/adult control during classroom dialogue and the unchallenging and unrewarding curriculum which further identify the high from the low achievers. Second, you have the predominant criticism culture in learning and failing symptoms and underachievers end up in higher vulnerability. Third is more concentrate by educators and administrators on overall development of the complete school and less attention in addressing the problems confronting underachieving gifted. Fourth is the excessively rigid and inflexible curriculum and the complete academic coverage which will not offer an avenue for the development of differentiated integrative programs in both casual and formal educational settings. Fifth, both parents and educators use more of the extrinsic motivational strategies somewhat than intrinsic which may actually work and only the underachieving gifted. Sixth, they are studying in a highly competitive communal environment and both parents and teachers show more matter on attaining high test ratings instead of the socio-emotional needs and learning frame of mind of students. Seventh, there are no differentiated procedures for gratifying learning needs. Last but not least, underachieving gifted students had not earned value from educators and consistently neglected when compared to those attaining highly in class.

Channey (2004) made specific programs of action for remediating underachievement in gifted students with respect to the factors discovered such as low self-efficacy, pressured choice problem, undiagnosed or diagnosed specific learning impairment, dysfunctional perfectionism, boredom, and dominating visual-spatial learners. Another is predominance of failing syndrome and

Morris and Mather (2008) discovered that underachievement may well not only stem from learning impairment by itself but from a string of environmental and intra-individual factors like slow-paced and chronically challenging classrooms, unrealistic familial expectations, conforming with peer pressure, attention deficit hypersensitivity disorder, inability in setting realistic goals, rebelliousness, interpersonal immaturity, anxiousness, and depression. Peers often impact adolescent behavior which may adversely influence academic achievements when negative peer influences are came across. Maladaptive motivational characteristics could also contribute to underachievement in gifted students and they much more likely do not display resilience or choose coping mechanisms that beat negative experiences came across in university, community, and home.

Effectiveness of strategies targeted at reversing underachievement

Voluminous accounts have been printed and documented regarding the profile of gifted underachievers and the complex causative factors explaining this sensation. However, understanding its root causes and determining gifted underachievers forms the first step. While it is essential to apply the correct interventions if educators attempt to cure this issue, it is logical that proposed interventions took different directions. Regarding the creation of your definition and investigating the factors of gifted underachievement, no intervention contains the answer to effectively invert poor academics performance in gifted students. As a matter of fact, Reis and McCoach (2000) referred to these effective interventions "inconsistent and inconclusive" (p. 202). Interventions may either be counselling or instructional.

The aim of guidance interventions is change any family or personal dynamics that affect gifted students' underachievement. Rather than forcing gifted students to perform better in institution, counseling help place goals and help alter habits that present street blocks to success. While guidance interventions seem to be to baffle the medical community concerning its performance, the Trifocal Model implemented in schools possessed limited some success in handling underachievement in gifted students. The foci of the six-step Trifocal Model are changes in university and family, fixing deficiencies, id, changing targets and communication (Schultz, 2005). However, Peterson (2006) outlined that the initial emotional and interpersonal needs of gifted underachievers are accorded limited attention in several school counseling training programs.

As school advisors, the role is usually to be a student advocate and a liaison between various pros catering to the individual in the school system. Counselors occupy a distinctive place bridging the task of parents, specialists, and professors in meeting the individual needs of the learner. Counselors could moreover give a supportive school climate by establishing guidance groups especially for gifted underachievers in which issues are normalized and earn others' support. The counselor can also be of assist with the college student in dealing with emotional, social, and intellectual needs during the course of their educational professions. They are able to also promote in growing a precise and reasonable self-concept while holistically producing the student's probable (Bailey, 2007).

Instructional interventions on the other palm give attention to strategies in creating more beneficial climates for gifted underachievers. Classrooms may have small teacher-student ratios and teachers employ less conventional teaching methods. Students are given more freedom in controlling their own learning. Regrettably, the strategy is not effective in reversing gifted underachievement credited to time constraints, limited resources and physical space, and non-compliance of university districts (Schultz, 2005).

Mentoring male gifted underachievers was reviewed by Hebert and Olenchak (2000) and revealed the important role of a significant adult on the young learner. The importance of mentors was reinforced by their nonjudgmental and open-minded characteristics, personal and consistent psychological/social support being long, and interest and strength-based interventions that overturn underachievement. These conclusions underscore that mentorship is critically effective on underachievement regardless of socio-economic record, environment, and age group.

Niederdeppe (2009) assessed the effect of your theater arts intervention on underachieving gifted Latin American midsection schoolers on academic performance and university engagement. Two teachers given the ten-week after university program to several 18 research participants. The action research study changed after receiving responses from the individuals and teachers. An evaluation was designed to the control composed of 16 students in conditions of co-operation, work habits, and academic markings. Only school engagement altered significantly while educational achievement did not increase.


It is the desire of the Hong Kong Education Section to ensure that educational needs of students are satisfied so their potentials are maximally developed regardless of their ability level. Thus, the ethos of fully harnessing students' potentials should be pressured to every school personnel before the drafting of related educational plans. Before this is done, a consensus should be performed amongst colleagues. The school also needs to develop and talk about a development plan that is well-structured and true to its determination of developing all types of students whether underachievers, average, or gifted learners. Personnel training this policy construction should collaboratively plan and reflect on salient areas specifically defining underachievement, and ways of identifying and realizing them, and strategies in approaching classroom instructions and learning. At the level of the school, the core of improving is acknowledging the reality of the centralized policy that could exploit synergistic relationships and creative imagination in the system and build the supportive organizational conditions promoting improvements (Hopkins, 2001). In the school room, instructors should first identify then select students advised to take part in enrichment activities and expansion work currently existing in colleges. These aforementioned activities should be regarded as a way of wedding caterers to individual dissimilarities in learning particularly one of the gifted. Because the school personnel knows this predicament among the list of gifted, the federal government must have immediate resources and plan of action geared towards helping them to fully understand the school of thought and record of gifted education, teach them how to recognize and develop children's skills and effectively work in curbing educational underachievement in gifted students. To provide as a precautionary measure in the long run, the rudiments regulating gifted education should be incorporated in pre-service tutor training curriculum so recently hired teachers are better equipped prior to graduation.

Although there are institutions where a coverage for those students happens to be in order, either regarding gifted education as unique or essential of the complete curriculum planning, esteem for tapping gifted students' potentials should be studied into account when planning the curriculum. To make sure that quality education is delivered, there is a have to have a highly effective nomination system of early recognition of more suitable students to complement teachers' work with needs of the students. Therefore, curriculum should be malleable and flexible, permitting expansion and enhancement of main learning items and development of a supplemental pullout program outside the the formal curriculum. The curriculum should be carefully and completely assessed to ensure that it's immersed to the three higher order thinking skills, personal-social competence and creative imagination for the entire college student body as basis for fostering giftedness and talent among young people. Hence, it is highly commendable for the institution administration to review the potency of currently employed augmentation and conditioning activities in the school curriculum basically school activities in all student capacity levels. As ongoing improvement, aside from managing a team of teachers tasked at overseeing quality of specific programs, plan design and curriculum planning should undergo constant review so that momentum is suffered.

Convention instructs us that effective student learning is equated to a variety of exam results and test scores. But to David Hopkins (2001), powerful learning goes beyond mere amounts and figures. It really is challenging to "find means of raising degrees of attainment while at the same time helping students are more powerful learners, by expanding and making articulate their repertoire of learning strategies" (Hopkins, 2001, p. 71). As researched in the previous webpages, gifted underachievers suffer from poor educational performance, unsatisfactory assignment work, low self-esteem and adversely perceive schooling. Consequently, it is crucial that strategies for educational change should place its basis on adapting to the management layout of the institution supporting learning and teaching and modifying class practice. Because remarkably gifted students find unstructured activities to be non-motivating and unappealing, educators need to realign class activities on the students' learning styles. They should also creatively develop educating methods that sensitively task their relationship with students. Hinged on the first work of Whitmore, the conditions would have to be satisfied in order for effective understanding how to transpire is having a classroom environment without risk of failure and invite freedom of expression, supportive peer group, good teacher-student interactions, and child-centered way.

Using the analysis of Chow, Chow, and Ku-Yu (2003) as reference, students in the case study were determined accidentally. Both parents and professors had no preceding knowledge that underachievement among the gifted exists and for that reason were unacquainted with the potentials they may have. In assisting gifted underachievers restore their self-confidence towards learning, first, they must feel well known and accepted locally and family. It really is indispensable for professors to clearly see their roles, nature of underachievement, and specific troubles encountered by these students. Besides, an important step is recognizing how parents of the students could be a contributory influence in shaping curriculum and class room instruction.

A supportive family environment, as confirmed by research, contributes value in accelerating positive development in gifted underachievers as long as they choose unbiased learning at home. In addition, a parents-teachers relationship can be tapped as a source of information in collaboratively linking the initiatives of parents and teachers which in the end improve scholar learning outcomes.

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