Connie Gordon has twenty years classroom experience working in the field of gifted education, and is the founder of Scholaris Gifted Academy. Under the guidance of Sharon Gerleman, Connie has developed and taught graduate level classes in gifted education and has designed adjunct programs specifically for gifted learners.
Parents and/or educators may not think a child is gifted if they are not receiving good grades. Underachievement describes a discrepancy between a student’s performance and his actual ability. The roots of this problem differ, based on each child’s experiences. Gifted students may become bored or frustrated in an unchallenging classroom situation causing them to lose interest, learn bad study habits, or distrust the school environment. Other students may mask their abilities to try to fit in socially with their same-age peers. No matter the cause, it is imperative that a caring and perceptive adult help gifted learners break the cycle of underachievement in order to achieve their full potential. We will be discussing Underachieving Gifted Learners at our next parent meeting on Wednesday, April 23, from 6-8PM at Fiddleheads in Mequon.
The quick response is that there is, as yet, no universally agreed upon answer to this question. Type in a quick Google search to define “giftedness” and you will find a plethora of answers and opinions, many of which are referenced in this blog. Giftedness, intelligence, and talent are fluid concepts and may look different in different contexts and cultures. Some professionals define "gifted" as an intelligence test score above 130, two or more standard deviations above the norm, or the top 2%. Others define "gifted" based on scholastic achievement: a gifted child works 2 or more grade levels above his or her age. Still others see giftedness as prodigious accomplishment: adult-level work while chronologically a child. These are far from the only definitions, yet most definitions agree: gifted children are a population who have different educational needs, thanks to their unique intellectual development.