Myths and Truths about Gifted Students

Common Myths about Gifted Students:

*Gifted Students are all a homogeneous group, all high achievers.

*Gifted Students do not need help, if they are really gifted they can figure it out on their own.

*Gifted Students are self directed, they know where they are heading.

*The social and emotional development of Gifted Students is at the same level as their intellectual development.

*Gifted Students need to serve as examples to others and should always assume additional responsibility.


Truths about Gifted Students:

*Gifted Students are often perfectionistic and idealistic.  They may equate grades and academic achievement with self-esteem and self-worth, which sometimes leads to fear of failure and interferes with achievement. 

*Some Gifted Students are 'mappers' (sequential learners), others are 'leapers' (spatial learners).  Leapers may not know how they got the right answer.  Mappers may get lost in the steps leading to the right answer. 

*Gifted Students are problem solvers.  They benefit from working on open-ended, interdisciplinary problems.  For example, how to solve a shortage of community resources or how to implement a recycling program in their area.  Gifted Students often refuse to work for grades alone.  

*Gifted Students often think abstractly and with complexity, therefore they may need help with concrete study and test taking skills.  

Adapted from College Planning for Gifted Students, 2nd ed., by Sandra Berger.