The Gifted/Talented Student and Social Behavior

The Gifted/Talented
Student and Social
Emily Cayson
Ice Breaker Activity
 Red: Colors
you like
 Yellow: Animals you like
 Blue: Things you like to do at school
 Green: Things you like to do for fun
 Brown: Words that describe you
 Orange: Foods you like
Myths of Gifted Students
◦ Gifted students are
white, middle/upper
class students.
◦ Gifted students do not
know they are
◦ All gifted students are
successful in school.
◦ Gifted students are
found in all ethnic,
cultural, religious, and
SES groups.
◦ Most gifted kids do not
need to be labeled to
know they are not quite
like their age peers.
◦ Many gifted students
may not perform well
due to peer pressure.
Gifted students are targets for bullying
because they are seen as “different” by
their peers.
 Bullying is worse for gifted males in grade
 Bullying peaks for gifted females in grades
5 – 8.
Why gifted students?
Other students are jealous
Social vulnerability makes them an easy target
Not being known by other students
What type of bullying is most prevalent?
◦ Name Calling
◦ Teasing about Appearance
◦ Teasing about Intelligence and Grades
Effects of Bullying
“Name-calling and being pushed around
affects you mentally. Sometimes they would
call you vulgar language or talk about your
parents or your family. Like sometimes some
of those words can get to your head. It can
make you feel kind of sad, the way they talk
about your parents.”
 Female fifth grader
 (Peterson & Ray, 2006, p. 260)
Peer Relationships
Talented/Gifted students are most
vulnerable to poor peer relationships due
to not “fitting in” at school.
 Peer problems for gifted students may
begin as early as kindergarten, because
they feel they do not share the same
interests or behaviors as other students.
Peer Relationships
Students with an IQ score of over 150
are likely to feel differently than students
with an IQ score of 130.
◦ Reason: The top 1 to 2 percent of students
with extremely high IQ’s is so small, and they
are that much more different from the norm.
Social Problems
Gifted females face their own challenges
◦ Social taboos
 Not being able to pursue excellence like boys
 Women are expected to be selfless, nurturing, and
supportive of others
 Career planning and child care
 Sex-stereotype fields
Social Problems
When gifted students try to act “normal”
they are denying their unique potential.
Social isolation in school may lead to later
problems such as depression, anxiety, or
Social Problems
Signs for potential suicide:
Sudden change in personality
Talking about suicide (joking or serious)
Avoiding social occasions and invitations
Selling prize possessions
Severe depression lasting at least a week
*Never assume a gifted student is “too
smart” to consider, or go through with,
“I have no idea what happens when the
students leave school. Some ride on the bus
and get ridiculed; others go home to an empty
house; still more rush around from ballet to
soccer to who-knows-what. I have no idea, and I
have very little control. But I do have control
over how each student will remember his or her
last moment of the day with me, and that
memory will be a fond one.”
Mrs. Sanders
(Delisle & Galbraith, 2002, p. 222)
How Can We Help?
Incorporate proactive, reactive, and
integrative ways to address social
◦ This can be done by teachers and school
Especially with gifted students, help them
with self-esteem.
How Can We Help?
Pay attention to those students who may
not have friends at school.
Understanding the needs of gifted
students can differ depending on their
talent and intelligence level.
How Can We Help?
◦ Do not tolerate any bullying at school in order to
help create a safer school environment.
◦ Encourage respect for students of all intelligence
◦ Help students embrace differences and
◦ Have small group sessions with bullies.
◦ Have small group sessions with victims.
◦ Classroom guidance lessons on tolerance
My Rainbow Activity
Cross, T. L. (2001). The rage of gifted students. Gifted Child Today,
24(2), 43-
Daniels, S., & Piechowski, M. M. (2009). Living with insanity:
Understanding the
sensitivity, excitability, and emotional
development of gifted children, adolescents, and
adults. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press.
Delisle, J., & Galbraith, J. (2002). When gifted kids don’t have all the
How to meet their social and emotional needs.
Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit
Publishing Incorporated.
Peterson, J. S., & Ray, K. E. (2006). Bullying among the gifted: The
experience. Gifted Child Quarterly, 50(252), 252-269.
Peterson, J. S., & Ray, K. E. (2006). Bullying and the gifted: Victims,
perpetrators, prevalence, and effects. Gifted Child Quarterly,
VanTassel-Baska, J. L., Cross, T. L., & Olenchak, F. R. (2009). Socialemotional
curriculum with gifted and talented students. Waco, TX:
Prufrock Press