Students Who Are Gifted and Underachieving:  Why & What Can We Do?
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Students Who Are Gifted and Underachieving: Why & What Can We Do? Victoria B. Damiani, Ed.D., NCSP Director, IUP Center for Gifted Education. Multiple Causes. Inappropriate expectations Inadequate/Inappropriate educational programming Family factors Personal characteristics.

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Multiple causes

Students Who Are Gifted and Underachieving: Why & What Can We Do?Victoria B. Damiani, Ed.D., NCSPDirector, IUP Center for Gifted Education

Multiple causes
Multiple Causes We Do?

  • Inappropriate expectations

  • Inadequate/Inappropriate educational programming

  • Family factors

  • Personal characteristics

Inappropriate expectations
Inappropriate Expectations We Do?

  • Incomplete assessments

  • Assessments misread or not read

  • Disabilities or emotional factors missed

  • Program doesn’t match assessment results

Educational programming
Educational Programming We Do?

  • Fails to challenge

  • Not academic

  • Study skills not developed

  • Not enough time spent with other capable students

  • Anti-intellectual climate

  • Student’s interests ignored

  • Crazy schedule

Family factors
Family Factors We Do?

  • Disorganization

  • Conflict (often between father & son, but daughters can also be affected)

  • Modeling underachievement

  • Modeling devaluation of educational system

  • UA a form of aggression against parent

  • Parents take on too much responsibility

  • Parents have inappropriate expectations

Characteristics of student
Characteristics of Student We Do?

  • Lack of motivation

  • Negative feelings about school

  • Poor study/work skills

  • Inaccurate beliefs about self/school

  • Fear of success/failure

  • Poor concentration

But most common factors are
But, Most Common Factors Are: We Do?

  • Inability to self-monitor in learning & performance

  • Lack of motivation

  • Emotional issues such as perfectionism and depression

  • Inappropriate educational programming

Intervention We Do?

  • Begin with educational program

    • Least intrusive

    • Required by regulation

    • Carries potential for prevention of UA in other students

    • Most research available

    • Expertise present among educators

To assess appropriateness of program for any student you must know at least
To assess appropriateness of program for any student you must know at least:

  • Academic levels/skills in reading and math (Standardized & curriculum based)

  • Achievement history

  • Study & work habits

  • Results of any full MDT assessments

    Adjust program accordingly/Share with student & parents

Move next to related services that are educational in nature
Move Next to Related Services that are Educational in Nature must know at least:

  • Career exploration

  • Real world experiences

  • Study/organizational skill instruction

  • Relationship with adult

  • Exploration of student interests

  • Educational time spent with other capable students

  • Variety of extra-curricular activities

Thirdly fully evaluate self monitoring social emotional family issues
Thirdly, fully evaluate self-monitoring, social, emotional, & family issues

  • Depression

  • Perfectionism

  • Anxiety

  • Family factors

  • Student’s self-regulation & self-messages

Depression & family issues

  • May present as disinterest

  • May present as anger/rebellion

  • Will be evident in other parts of child’s life

  • Is treatable

  • Requires careful psychological assessment that can be done at school

  • Will most likely be treated outside of school, but a school component is essential

Perfectionism & family issues

  • May begin work but not complete

  • May do one part of assignment well and others not at all

  • Pattern usually evident over time

  • May be familial connection

  • Interventions can be done at school if symptoms are not too severe

Anxiety & family issues

  • May be related to one subject only

  • May be related to one activity only, such as testing

  • May coexist with perfectionism

  • Can appear with or without a history

  • Can be addressed at school if focused and not generalized

  • If addressed outside will need a school component as well

Family factors1
Family Factors & family issues

  • Accurate information about student’s strengths & needs may help

  • May be related to family cognitions about giftedness

  • Will often be evident if parents & student are seen together

  • May generalize beyond academics

  • Can be addressed at school if focus is on school-related issues & intervener is appropriately trained

Student self regulation messages
Student Self-regulation & messages & family issues

  • Cognitions regarding giftedness

  • Self-reports of thoughts & feelings when doing academic work

  • Metacognitive interview (Rafoth, 1999)

  • Time and materials report

Cogntive behavioral interventions
Cogntive-Behavioral Interventions & family issues

  • Goal setting & Tracking (teach to record their own behavior)

  • Modeling (self-messages for organization)

  • Organization (step by step through a project)

  • Rubrics for self-evaluation

Cognitive behavioral interventions
Cognitive Behavioral Interventions & family issues

  • Have student practice positive self-talk

  • Teach relaxation techniques

  • Teach self-reward

  • Use self-report rating scales to get baseline & assess progress

  • Student participation in development of plan is essential