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s that relate to academic motivation and the special needs that may correlate to students’ challenges that may be inconspicuous to many classroom educators. In this regard, this paper aims at forming a critical analysis of the factors that underlie underachievement in talented students with a view of presenting some precise interventions to address the issue.
Underachievement can be defined as the demonstration of a severe discrepancy between the anticipated achievements or results and the actual achievements in talented or gifted children or students. In this regard, the expected results are measured by intellectual or cognitive ability evaluations or some standardized achievement test scores. On the other hand, the actual results are measured by teacher evaluations or class scores in the classroom set-up. In order for a child to be regarded as an underachiever, the difference between the projected and the observed accomplishment need not be the unswerving outcome of an identified learning infirmity. Therefore, talented underachievers often exhibit superior scores on assessments of expected achievement (Mc Coach, 2000: p. 157).
Majority of the recent research studies that have investigated the characteristics of underachieving children have placed much focus on the clinical, qualitative, and single-subject research methodology. The studies, such as Sousa (2009), Cassady (2010), and Callahan and Davis (2012), have documented several causes of underachievement in gifted children. According to these studies, the most common factors associated with underachievement in talented children include the following;
The determination on why some high potential students exhibit low levels of achievement is often challenging since underachievement is precipitated by varying reasons (Callahan, & Davis, 2012). Nevertheless, practitioners and scholars have to explore the causes of underachievement in order o come with succinct solutions. Firstly, it is important to understand
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Yet giftedness, to some extent, remains to be a subjective concept as it does not carry a single concrete definition to be understood in an objective manner. As a result, this leads to several misconceptions which are unfortunately being applied in practice, especially in today’s education system.
Experts have indicated that such children have extraordinary intellectual, and most often, cognitive capabilities that distinguish them from the normal children. In the result, a huge number of experts have endeavored to propose methodologies and strategies to identify such children to arrange their nurturing in accordance to their intellectual level.
their learning experience would be presented, as required. Characteristics of the Gifted Learner A relatively small but distinguished percentage of the population of children all over the world exhibit exemplary characteristics classifying them as gifted learners.
Being gifted and yet having a learning disability is just as contradictory as it sounds. Historically, gifted children have been expected to display high performance on the conventional standards of judgment. Since the time of Terman, the gifted children have been stereotyped to show high performance both in the school and the intelligence tests uniformly.
Affective Characteristics of gifted students and meeting educational needs.
Gifted children have the ability to not only think in a different way, they also have the characteristic to feel differently from average normal students. Intellectually gifted students are those whose general behaviour, learning and characteristics related to creativity differ from other children in many ways (Sousa, 2009).
Factors which prevent educators from recognizing the gifts and talents of students belonging to the cultural minorities and most importantly, the importance of balance and reconciliation between equity and excellence in education were also tackled (Ford and Harmon, 2001).
In fact, as early as the 2200 BC, the Chinese civilizations had felt the need to identify and develop gifted children and groom to take up the government administration positions. Even the Roman and Greek civilizations spent considerable focus and energy towards exploring and using these gifted people.
According to the report the scholarly world has been in dispute regarding the features of such gifted children, how to identify gifted children, how to handle them effectively, the neuropsychological factors behind being gifted, the way the gifted people observe the world, and the common socio-cultural issues faced by gifted children.