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Underachieving Learners

SPECIAL POPULATIONS EXPERT GROUP WORK

There are three important things to


remember about education. The first one is
motivation, the second is motivation, and
the third is motivation.
TERRELL BELL
FORMER SECRETARY, U.S. DEPT. OF EDUCATION

Graphic Organizer

Graphic organizer for use of


Jigsaw members during
presentation

Two Types of Underachievers

Non-producers

Fail to do daily work yet still


pass tests and perform well on
standardized tests.

Probably knew material


already or learned it more
quickly than other students.

Selective producers

Not motivated by grades,


these underachievers will
engage in learning only when it
is interesting to them.

Know they are smart and


capable of high performance.

Characteristics of Underachieving
Gifted Learners
If 10 or more characteristics are
checked, the child should be
further evaluated to determine
whether he or she is an
underachieving learner

Underachievers find neither


intrinsic of extrinsic value in the
school experience
Most common: low self esteem

DRS Ch 12 pg. 294

Underachievers: Avoidance Behaviors


Avoidance Behaviors

Underachievers may avoid


making a productive effort

School is irrelevant

Students see no reason to study

Material has no useful purpose

Feared lack of ability; risk possible


shortcomings

Avoidance behaviors often take the


form of defensive excuses

DRS Ch 12; pg 296: Figure 12.3

Underachievers: Perfectionism

Perfectionism is unachievable

Provides student with ready excuses


for poor performance

Students show a late onset of


underachieving (middle + high school)

Perfectionistic students do well when


curriculum is easy enough to permit
perfect achievement

Become underachievers when work


becomes difficult

Underachievers do not set realistic


goals

Students provide a rational for failure

Do not need to label themselves as


incompetent

Student performance that falls noticeably short of


potential, especially for young people with high
ability, is bewildering and perhaps the most
frustrating of all challenges both parents and
teachers face.
Sally Reis (1988A, P.12)

Serving the Underachieving Student

All students, especially underachievers, need 5 Cs:

Controlstudent-centered learning and instruction emphasized

Choicestudent interests and learning preferences are part of learning


experiences

Challengeflexible, differentiated learning experiences are provided

Complexitynovel, authentic, abstract, open-ended experiences are provided in


a variety of forms including in-depth studies, contests, & higher-level-thinking skills

Caringfair, flexible, humorous, non-judgmental, respected and respectful

Instructional Strategies
Control

Choice

Challenge

Complexity

Caring

Flexible Grouping

XX

Curriculum
Compacting

XX

Tiered Assignments

XX

Independent Study

XX

Honors Classes

XX

Pre-assessment

Higher-level Thinking
Tasks

XX

XX

XX

Creative Thinking Tasks


Project-based Learning

XX

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDQQFjADahUKEwi8sNOwnYnJAhUCN
T4KHeLWCFc&url=https%3A%2F%2Ficahn.mssm.edu%2Fstatic_files%2FMSSM%2FFiles%2FResearch%2FCenters%2FTraumatic%2520Brain%2520
Injury%2520Central%2Ffocus3.pdf&usg=AFQjCNEtwf1GxinW94913bE22tCIW8QAVg&sig2=m_zRFzmR_pRc-rQ8rhmzxw

ALLIANCE for Reversing Student


Underachievement

Questions
1.

Think of a student you currently teach that falls under the


category of an underachiever. What are some strategies you
could use to help this student achieve more?

2.

Analyze the instructional strategies on slide #10. Which


strategies do you think would be the most difficult to
implement? Why?

3.

If these strategies (slide #10) are documents to work for an


underachieving gifted student, could they also work for an on
level student? Why or why not?

Resources
Underachieving
Gifted Learners

Materials your instructor may give you:


DRS Ch. 12 Underachievement and Perfectionism
DRS Ch. 17 p. 456-459
Web Resources for your use:
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/underachievement.htm
http://giftedkids.about.com/od/schoolissues/p/underachieve.htm
http://www.prufrock.com/client/client_pages/GCT_articles/Gifted_Underachievement.cfm
http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content/underachieving_gifted.html
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/eric/e544.html
http://www.nagc.org/index.aspx?id=972
http://school.familyeducation.com/child-psychology/gifted-education/38653.html
http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10094.aspx
http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10442.aspx
http://www.appliedmotivation.com/gifted_and_talented_underachieve.htm
http://www.sengifted.org/articles_counseling/Grobman_Underachievement_in_Exceptionally_Gifted_Adolescents.pdf

Domain
Content

Not Evident (1)

Organization

Materials

Creativity

Emerging (2)

Lacks basic knowledge and


confidence about chosen
population
Contains no good examples or
supporting details
Offers few suggestions for
serving this population within
the existing system or changes
for the system.
Provides no questions for
participants.

No apparent organization or
planning.

Provides no materials to the


Jigsaw group members.

Presentation shows no original


thought. Ideas are minimal
and the audience is not
engaged.

Proficient (3)

Demonstrates only basic


knowledge of chosen
population.
Contains few examples and
supporting details.
Offers few suggestions for
serving this population within
the existing system as well as
changes of the system.
Provides less than 3 or very
poor questions in diverse
learning styles to use with
participants.

Weak organization, planning,


and flow.

Provides either a graphic


organizer for use of jigsaw
members during presentation
or supplementary materials to
audience, or materials may
not be applicable.

Presentation shows little


original thought. Ideas are
minimal and the audience is
minimally engaged.

Demonstrates knowledge and


understanding of chosen
population.
Provides some details and
examples.
Offers multiple suggestions for
serving this population within
the existing system or changes
for the system.
Provides 3 adequate questions
in diverse learning styles to use
with participants.

Exhibits organization and


planning flows reasonably.
Provides a graphic organizer
for use of jigsaw members
during the presentation and
applicable supplementary
materials to audience.
Presentation shows original
thought. Ideas are creative,
inventive, and engage the
audience.

Exemplary (4)

Demonstrates clear, extensive


knowledge, understanding
and confidence about chosen
population.
Provides many good examples
and supportive details.
Offers multiple suggestions for
serving this population within
the existing system as well as
changes of the system.
Provides 3 good questions in
diverse learning styles to use
with participants.
Exhibits extensive planning
and organization and flows
logically.
Provides graphic organizer for
use of Jigsaw members during
presentation, valuable
supplementary handouts, and
list of resources to audience in
appropriate format.
Presentation shows a large
amount of original thought.
Ideas are creative, inventive,
and engage the audience in
a hands-on manner.

Technology
(optional
depending on
type of Jigsaw
used)

Contains no audiovisual
appeal or includes no
technology.

Contains some audiovisual


appeal with the use of
handwritten transparencies or
posters.

Contains audiovisual appeal


and incorporates Internet but
no presentation software.

Contains audiovisual appeal


with the incorporation of
advanced technology such as
presentation software and
Internet.

Average: ______________________ Comments: _____________________________________________