Assessment Implications

Advanced Learners
Assessment Concerns
• Stress/Anxiety
• Underachievement
• Perfectionism
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
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
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
Different 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
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 Traits
Independent intellectual streak
“I know I haven’t done my homework,
but look at this new computer program
I’ve designed!”
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 consumers are “adept
at taking the best from what
school and teachers have to
offer and leaving the rest
• It is estimates that half the population
of the U.S. has perfectionist
• For gifted students, and proportion is
closer to 85%
Perfectionist children 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
challenge avoidance
Perfectionists categories
Healthy and Un-Healthy
Un -Healthy
How much of a perfectionist
are you?
Healthy perfectionism
leads one to strive for
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
• Positive characteristic driven by high effort
and accomplishment
• Pleasure from concentrated effort
• The pursuit of excellence.
Unhealthy Perfectionism
• Strain compulsively toward impossible
• Set unrealistic standards for themselves
• See mistakes as evidence of their own
• Live in a constant state of anxiety about
making mistakes
Doing the research necessary for a
term paper, working hard on it,
turning it in on time and feeling
good about what you learned
Doing three drafts, staying up two
nights in a row, and handing your
paper in late because you just had
to have it perfect
Studying for a test, taking it with
confidence and feeling good about
getting a 96
Cramming right up to the last
minute, taking the test with sweaty
palms, and feeling badly about your
96 because your friend got a 98.
Being willing to try new things, take Avoiding new experiences because
risks, and learn from your
you are terrified of making mistakes
experiences and your mistakes
– especially in public
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
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
• 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:
• My family expects me to win, I can’t let them
• If I don’t do that, everyone will be so
• 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.