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IMPLICATIONS for Advanced Learners. Assessment Concerns. Stress/Anxiety Underachievement Perfectionism. Good Stress. SURVIVAL! body prepares to fight or flee brain generates a state of hyper focus adrenaline cascades through the body lungs expand for more oxygen

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IMPLICATIONS for Advanced Learners

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Implications for advanced learners

IMPLICATIONS for Advanced Learners

Assessment concerns

Assessment Concerns

  • Stress/Anxiety

  • Underachievement

  • Perfectionism

Good stress

Good Stress


  • body prepares to fight or flee

  • brain generates a state of hyper focus

  • adrenaline cascades through the body

  • lungs expand for more oxygen

  • blood flow increases to large muscles

  • Digestion halts

  • Executive functions freeze up!

Bad stress

Bad Stress

memory problems/lack of sleep/aggression/depression

  • damage brain’s hippocampus, which affects memory and new learning

  • Loss of control over perceptions and body’s ability to regain balanced/relaxed state



1. to perform below the potential indicated by tests of one's mental ability or aptitude.

2. to perform below expectations or achieve less than expected

Underachievement different types of underachievers

UnderachievementDifferent types of underachievers

  • Perfectionist Patty

  • Passive Paul

  • Sick Sam

  • Taunted Terrance

  • Torn Tommy

  • Jock Jack, Social Sally, Dramatic Debbie

  • Academic Alice

  • Creative Chris

  • Rebellious Rebecca

  • Hyperactive Harry

Common traits

Common Traits

Can explain why schoolwork is not good or grades are low

“Look, if they’d offer something worthwhile, I’d learn it.”

Can “read” a teacher in minutes,

“I like Ms. Cornelius-she’s cool.”

Common traits1

Common Traits

Independent intellectual streak

“I know I haven’t done my homework, but look at this new computer program I’ve designed!”

Common traits2

Common Traits

Strong sense of self

“I could get high grades if I chose to, but what’s the point?”

Improvement can occur overnight

“See? I told you I could do it!”

Selective consumer

Selective Consumer

Selective consumers are “adept at taking the best from what school and teachers have to offer and leaving the rest behind.”



  • It is estimates that half the population of the U.S. has perfectionist tendencies.

  • For gifted students, and proportion is closer to 85%

Implications for advanced learners

Perfectionistchildren are never satisfied with good enough.

If they are not the best, don’t get 100%, or can’t figure out a problem effortlessly and immediately, then their all-or-nothing thinking dictates that they must be dumb losers wasting their efforts.

  • unrealistic expectations

  • low self-esteem

  • underachievement

  • challenge avoidance

P erfectionists categories healthy and un healthy perfectionism

Perfectionists categoriesHealthyand Un-Healthy perfectionism!


Un -Healthy

How much of a perfectionist are you

How much of a perfectionist are you?

Healthy perfectionism leads one to strive for excellence.

Unhealthy perfectionism takes over one’s life and leaves no room for error.

A healthy perfectionist is content to be a tiny fraction of a bubble off!

An unhealthy perfectionist must have that bubble perfectly centered.

Healthy perfectionism

Healthy Perfectionism

  • Positive characteristic driven by high effort

    and accomplishment

  • Pleasure from concentrated effort

  • The pursuit of excellence.

Unhealthy perfectionism

Unhealthy Perfectionism

  • Strain compulsively toward impossible goals

  • Set unrealistic standards for themselves

  • See mistakes as evidence of their own unworthiness

  • Live in a constant state of anxiety about making mistakes

In a nutshell

In a nutshell

  • Healthy perfectionists know

    their limits and strive for excellence.

  • They use their talents to the fullest extent of their capabilities.

  • They realize they do not have to be perfect to be successful and loved.

Negative consequences

Negative Consequences

  • Low self-esteem – “I’m never good enough”

  • Guilt – “I could have handled that better”

  • Pessimism – “I’ll never be a success”

  • Depression – “I’ll never succeed?”

  • Suicidal tendencies – “Why go on?”

  • Obsessiveness – “It isn’t perfect yet, I can’t stop”

  • Lack of motivation – “It will never be perfect so why try?”

  • Immobilization – “ It is better to do nothing than it is to fail!”


Things perfectionists say

Things perfectionists say:

  • My family expects me to win, I can’t let them down

  • If I don’t do that, everyone will be so disappointed.

  • No, its still 1/32 of an inch off!

  • I can’t believe I got one question wrong – maybe the teacher is wrong!

  • It would have been perfect if I could have done it myself.

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