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Gifted Adolescents

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Gifted Adolescents. Are Their Needs Being Met?. What is giftedness?. Office of Educational Research and Improvement in the U.S. Department of Education (1993):. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
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  • Gifted AdolescentsAre Their Needs Being Met?

  • What is giftedness?Office of Educational Research and Improvement in the U.S. Department of Education (1993):

  • Children and youth with outstanding talent perform or show the potential for performing at remarkable high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment. These children and youth exhibit high performance capability in intellectual, creative, and/or artistic areas, possess an unusual leadership capacity, or excel in specific academic fields. They require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the schools. Outstanding talents are present in children and youth from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor. (p. 26)

  • The Columbus Group, 1991(theorists, practitioners, and parents)Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally.

  • Adolescents can be gifted in different areas and by varying degrees. They may have learning disabilities or deliberately mask their intellectual abilities to fit in.

    There are advantages and disadvantages:

  • Advantages: higher comprehension than their peers (and some adults), advanced language abilities, being highly creative, quick thinking, having an endless supply of energy, a high concentration level, and the ability to think at an adult level. Disadvantages: sometimes find it difficult to relate to their peers, monopolize conversations, solve problems uniquely which may conflict with what the teacher has prescribed, are easily bored, may finish work very quickly, are easily distracted, get so involved in a project they miss deadlines, or say rude or embarrassing things because they lack the tact that usually accompanies higher level thinking (Strip, 2000).

  • Gifted or Smart?Learning Speed and application of conceptsQuestioning StyleEmotional OutlookLevel of InterestLanguage AbilityConcern with FairnessSelf ImageIt is important to note that a gifted adolescent may not exhibit every trait, and that just because a child exhibits one or two of these traits, it may not mean he or she is gifted (Strip, 2000).

  • Learning Speed and application of conceptsSmart adolescents build fact upon fact, benefit from practice, follow directions and understand class informationGifted adolescents process information differently, dislike drills, can apply information they learned to other situations

  • Questioning StyleSmart adolescents ask questions that have answers and may prefer that facts are in a sequential mannerGifted adolescents ask questions that may not have easy answers. They enjoy complexity and are comfortable with ambiguous answers

  • Emotional OutlookSmart adolescents are able to talk about their emotions and get over an upsetting event fairly quicklyGifted adolescents can experience deep emotion, and it affects the other areas in their lives

  • Level of InterestSmart adolescents-when interest is shown, they ask questions and are curious. They finish their projects and work hard to please othersGifted adolescents-show intense curiosity. They may get so deeply involved in a project, they may not finish on time or they may dream up their own projects or assignments.

  • Language AbilitySmart adolescents acquire new words easily, but choose words typical for their age group. They take turns in conversations.Gifted adolescents have advanced vocabularies, enjoy wordplay and often talk over the heads of their peers. They tend to dominate conversations. However, there are also quiet gifted students.

  • Concern with FairnessSmart adolescents have definite opinions about what is fairGifted adolescents show an intense concern about fairness and on a much broader scale. They will debate the fairness of a situation.

  • Self ImageSmart adolescents tend to have a high self esteem. Perfectionism is rarely a concern.Gifted adolescents also tend to have high self esteem, but some feel they dont fit in. May be extremely critical of themselves and perfectionistic. (Strip, 2000)It is important to note that a gifted adolescent may not exhibit every trait, and that just because an adolescent exhibits one or two of these traits, may not mean he or she is gifted.

  • Typical Adolescent vs. the Gifted AdolescentTypical Adolescent Behavior:Conflicts with the family existSome concern about body imageVacillation between lethargy and excessive physical activityFad behavior with strong loyalty to peersDating and emergence of a sex driveAt-Risk behaviors can be tried

  • In addition to what typical challenges adolescents face, gifted adolescents struggle with:

    ImpatienceCompeting expectations

  • Six Personality Profiles: Type I: The Successful90% of gifted students in school programsHave learned the systemLearning is easy and test scores highEager to pleaseTend to become bored and are satisfied with going through the motionsDependent on teachers and parents for directionsTypically have high self esteem, are well liked, and do achieve

  • Type II: The ChallengingMany school systems fail to identify this groupHigh level of creativity, but may appear defiant or sarcasticQuestions authority and may challenge the teacherSometimes challenge peersSometimes, creativity and sense of humor appealing to peersConsidered at risk for drug addiction or delinquent behavior if proper interventions not implemented by middle school

  • Type III: The UndergroundTends to consist of middle school girlsTo fit in, girls deny their talents and may appear to lose all interests in previous passionsGifted boys tend to go underground in high schoolTends to be anxious and insecureSeem to benefit from being accepted as they are at the time

  • Type IV: The DropoutAngry and feel rejectedHave interests outside the regular school curriculum and fail to receive support in those areasBenefits form both individual and family counselingRequires a close working relationship with an adult they can trust

  • Type V: The Double-LabeledBoth gifted and challenged in some wayTypically overlooked because they dont fit the mold of a typical gifted student. May have sloppy handwriting or such disruptive behavior that their work goes unfinishedTend to lack self confidenceTypically perceived as average or given remedial assistance

  • Type VI: The AutonomousHave mastered the systemThey make the system work for them rather than being satisfied working in the systemStrong, positive self-concepts and are successfulWell liked and typically hold leadership rolesSet goalsExpress needs and feelings appropriately (Betts & Neihart, 1988)

  • Challenges for the Gifted AdolescentDepressionPeer relationsLack of MotivationSelf ConceptPerfectionismStress

  • DepressionPerfectionismSensitivitySocial Isolation (Neihart, 2003)

  • Peer RelationsInvests heavily in friendshipsPerfectionism-with such high standards, very few people measure up. Student may be perceived as stuck up or conceitedOthers feel threatened (Strip, 2000)

  • Lack of MotivationWhen expectations of others too high, its easier to drop outA way of rebelling, avoids the possibility of failure, and can help gain acceptance from peersAn attention seeking deviceSign of depression (Webb, Meckstroth, & Tolan, 1994)

  • Self ConceptStudies have been mixedMost generally favor gifted students

  • PerfectionismOne of the most pervasive traits Goals set according to mental age instead of chronological ageBecome afraid of failureperfectionistic teachers and parents and competitive peersIntroverts tend to be strong perfectionists. Introverts represent half the gifted population (Schuler, 2002)

  • StressFeeling out of place with surroundings-a lack of fitExpectations too highDesire to solve the worlds problemsParents overly intense or disconnectedInvolved in too many activitiesBoredLonely

  • Responses to StressSome become hyperSome become clingySome demand constant support and reassuranceSome appear bored and apatheticSome develop school phobia

  • Coping Strategies: least acceptable to most acceptableAct like you dont know as muchAct like a know it allDisguise true abilities by adjusting words and actionsDont participate in programs for gifted/talented studentsGet involved in the community where age isnt an issue

  • Coping Strategies continuedExcel in areas outside of schoolHave friendships with adultsParticipate in gifted and talented programsMake friends with other gifted studentsHelp peers do better in class

  • Strategies for Supporting the Gifted AdolescentHelpful to know the Eight Great Gripes of Gifted Kids (Delisle & Galbraith, 2002):No one explains what being gifted is all aboutSchool is too easy and too boringParents, teachers and friends expect us to be perfect all the timeFriends who understand us are few and far betweenKids often tease us about being smartWe feel overwhelmed by the number of things we can do in lifeWe feel different and alienatedWe worry about world problems and feel helpless to do anything about them

  • Supporting and Working with Adolescents in the Three Domains of the ASCA Model:

    Career DomainAcademic DomainPersonal/Social Domain

  • Van Tassle-Baska (1998) recommends three types of counseling:Life as well as career planningAcademic pl

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