Top answer to — why do gifted students fail?

Gifted students may fail due to various reasons such as a lack of challenge in the curriculum, underdeveloped study skills, perfectionism, social and emotional issues, and a lack of motivation or interest in the subject matter.

Why do gifted students fail

Response to your inquiry in detail

Gifted students, despite their exceptional abilities, may encounter difficulties and experience failures in their academic journey. The reasons for their underachievement are multifaceted and can be attributed to various factors.

  1. Lack of Challenge: Gifted students often require a higher level of intellectual stimulation and a more rigorous curriculum to fully explore their potential. If the educational setting fails to provide them with appropriately challenging material, they may become disengaged, uninterested, and unmotivated to succeed academically.

As Albert Einstein famously said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” Gifted students, with their vast capacity for intellectual growth, need a continuous and stimulating environment that fosters their thirst for knowledge.

  1. Underdeveloped Study Skills: While gifted students possess remarkable intellectual capacities, they may lack the necessary study skills to effectively manage their workload, prioritize tasks, and utilize effective learning strategies. As a result, they may struggle to meet expectations and experience failure despite their inherent abilities.

Thomas Edison once stated, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” This quote emphasizes the importance of developing effective study habits and the diligence required to translate intellectual potential into tangible success.

  1. Perfectionism: Gifted students often suffer from perfectionist tendencies, setting exceptionally high standards for themselves. This relentless pursuit of perfection can be both a strength and a source of failure. While it motivates them to excel, it can also lead to self-doubt, anxiety, and a fear of failure. When faced with the possibility of not meeting their self-imposed standards, they may become paralyzed, leading to academic underperformance.

Psychologist Elaine Aron noted, “Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth; it’s a shield.” Gifted students must understand the importance of setting realistic goals and embracing the learning process, including setbacks and failures.

  1. Social and Emotional Issues: Gifted students may experience social and emotional challenges, which can negatively impact their academic performance. They may struggle with feelings of isolation, lack of peer connection, and difficulty in relating to their age-mates. These emotional struggles can divert their attention from academic pursuits and hinder their ability to perform at their full potential.
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Psychologist Jean Piaget stated, “The principle goal of education in schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.” Recognizing the importance of holistic development, educators and parents must address the social and emotional needs of gifted students to nurture their academic success.

  1. Lack of Motivation or Interest: Despite being gifted, students may face challenges when it comes to motivation or interest in certain subjects. They may find themselves uninspired by the curriculum and lose their innate curiosity and enthusiasm. Without intrinsic motivation, gifted students may become passive learners, leading to academic underachievement.

In his book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” author Daniel Pink emphasizes the importance of intrinsic motivation, stating, “The ultimate freedom for creative groups is the freedom to experiment with new ideas.” Encouraging autonomy, choice, and creativity within the educational environment can help foster the motivation and curiosity necessary for gifted students’ success.

Interesting Facts:

  1. Giftedness is often defined as having an IQ score above 130, but it encompasses much more than just high intelligence.
  2. Gifted students can display asynchronous development, where they may excel in some areas but struggle in others.
  3. Twice-exceptional (2e) students are gifted individuals who also have learning disabilities or neurodivergent conditions.
  4. Giftedness is present in every demographic, including different cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, and across genders.
  5. When appropriately supported, gifted students can thrive academically and make significant contributions to society.

(Table: Challenges Faced by Gifted Students)

Challenges Impact
Lack of Challenge Disengagement and reduced motivation
Underdeveloped Study Skills Ineffective time management and task organization
Perfectionism Fear of failure and avoidance of challenges
Social and Emotional Issues Emotional distress and reduced focus
Lack of Motivation or Interest Passive learning and decreased effort

In conclusion, while gifted students possess innate intellectual abilities, their success is not guaranteed. The lack of challenge, underdeveloped study skills, perfectionism, social and emotional issues, and a lack of motivation or interest can contribute to their academic underachievement. To unlock their full potential, it is vital to provide gifted students with appropriate challenges, develop their study skills, address their social-emotional needs, and foster intrinsic motivation. As John F. Kennedy once said, “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” Nurturing the potential of all students, including the gifted, benefits society as a whole.

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Answer to your inquiry in video form

Gifted children often have difficulty in school, and the author of the video provides advice on how to deal with this. She suggests that society should lower its expectations of gifted children, and that parents and teachers should challenge them instead of easing them into their schoolwork.

Many additional responses to your query

Without ownership, gifted children don’t learn the connection between their efforts and their outcomes, and, without that link, they can’t take pride in their results. They can’t say, "I did well because I worked hard." They may also develop the belief that they will always succeed in the future without effort.

Why do gifted students fail? A young, curious student may easily become turned off if the educational environment is not stimulating; class placement and teaching approaches are inappropriate; the child experiences ineffective teachers; or assignments are consistently too difficult or too easy.

Unfortunately, if gifted children attribute their successes to their ability, when they fail-which they inevitably will sooner or later-they must attribute their failures to their lack of ability (they must be stupid or untalented) and, though children can acquire more skills, they cannot gain ability beyond what they were born with.

Gifted individuals tend to be emotionally sensitive and empathic, making the normal rough and tumble of the playground stressful for them. Because they often feel they are held to higher standards than their peers, they can find it difficult to accept criticism (anything short of perfection is felt as failure).

“Failure” for gifted children is not limited to failing grades alone. The brain registers failure when repeated efforts do not achieve the desired goal. Failure can be experienced when a straight “A” child begins to get frequent “A-” grades in a subject and, despite high effort, fails to regain the “A”.

Gifted people believe in their own ideas and find it difficult to support ideas they find less innovative. This can make it hard for gifted individuals to come to a consensus when working with others. In addition, others may fail to understand the ideas of the most talented and prefer to take more conventional approaches.

You will most likely be intrigued

Are gifted kids more likely to fail?
The response is: Gifted students are outstanding learners who are not usually considered at risk of academic failure or problems. However, gifted students can still underachieve.
Why do gifted students struggle in school?
Response will be: In addition to pressures from academic and family expectations, students who are gifted may struggle in school because of social issues. Some of the issues these students can face in school include: Embarrassment for being different or standing out. Bullying from peers due to their intelligence or differences.
Why do gifted kids get bad grades?
The answer is: They have a slow processing speed. Even if your child is highly intelligent, they may have a slower processing speed, meaning that it takes them longer to answer questions and grasp concepts. Many standardized tests in reading and math are timed, so speed matters.
Why do gifted people struggle?
Gifted, talented and creative adults face unique challenges, problems and difficulties while living their lives because of their high intelligence, overexcitabilities and multiple abilities. Gifted, Talented & Creative Adults need: multiple sources of stimulation for their curiosity, talents and abilities.
Why do gifted children fail?
Response to this: Gifted children didn’t earn their giftedness. They were just lucky in that their parents gave them good genes. Andthey don’t actually do anything to succeed, so they don’t know what to do to succeed in the future When they succeed, they have to attribute to their success to their ability.
Are gifted and talented students underachieving?
For years, the underachievement of gifted and talented students has troubled both parents and educators. Too often, students who show great academic potential fail to perform at a level commensurate with their abilities.
How well do gifted children do in school?
Response will be: Similarly, gifted children canvary greatly in how well they do in school, depending on the subject area being considered. While they shine in some academic areas, they may struggle in others. Some of these children will be able to compensate, using their underlying strengths to make up for their weaknesses.
Do gifted students drop out of high school?
In a review of the sparse research on this population, Reid and McGuire (1995) found that many talented students with behavioral problems drop out of high school, and are not recommended for gifted programs.

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