Have you ever wondered why bright children sometimes perform poorly in school? The notion of gifted underachievement has been going on for centuries. Just think of Albert Einstein, whose teachers thought him to be “slow,” and Thomas Edison who was told he was too stupid to learn. If you have a child whose abilities are not reflected in his or her school work and performance, you may be interested in looking at these links. There is a lot of info out there, but experience has shown us that a most effective antidote is to provide the child access to another totally different learning environment where teachers are sure to connect the child’s individual strengths to academic work, thus demonstrating to the student how his own strengths are valuable and valid in an educational setting.
Take for example the common problem of the middle school English class failure. Often, students who fail English class in middle school are, in fact, effective and eager creative writers. Given the opportunity to write creatively in an alternative and supportive setting, the teacher can develop their skills as creative writers first, and then connect these skills to other forms of critical reading and writing such as the essay. This approach helps develop academic self-efficacy, or the belief that one is equipped to handle and overcome challenges.
Did you know?
“Robert Frost dropped out of Dartmouth College and Harvard University and failed as both a teacher and a farmer.” (From Famous Failures by Joey Green (Lunatic, 2007))