Case Study of a Gifted Student

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Introduction

Case evaluation, proposed solutions, recommendations, works cited, video voice-over.

Following the old pigeonholes that have offered a false definition of gifted students to educators, it has been difficult to recognize talented students. A gifted student is able demonstrate a high level of achievement capability in different fields but needs services not provided in an ordinary school. This case study addresses the characteristics of talented students, their weaknesses and strengths as well, and the teaching strategies and educational options that best suit them.

Statistics do not give an accountable population of talented students in the United States because of the mutant estimation from state to state. Although most gifted students possess promising efforts, some end up failing. The underachievement among talented students is a common problem that is believed to be caused by depression, lack of motivation, among other factors. Although psychologists have tried their best, they have yet to develop a strategy that would help recognize talented students.

Mercy was a ten-year-old gifted girl and was identified from a group of pupils subjected to a creative writing program. She was a pupil from Park west Elementary school in a suburb of a major metropolitan city with a population of five hundred pupils. Mercy’s giftedness was demonstrated by psychometric testing, with her composite score ranking her in the 99.91st percentile with a “Standard Age Score” of 150. According to her school-based standardized testing and information from her teacher, she scored in the 100th percentile on the school’s ACER Online Placement Instrument (OPI) and she registered an underachievement, particularly in the field of creative writing. Her teacher stated that her in-class creative writing exercises performance did not match her outstanding standardized test results. Mercy was labeled as a low-achieving student as a result of this. She spent seven weeks in the creative writing program, which consisted of eight 50-minute sessions. Mercy was mentored through several creative writing exercises as part of the curriculum, culminating in completing her short tale.

The critique of Mercy’s studies identified as a ‘gifted student’ indicates a motley of cognitive features that are generalized in all heterogeneous groups. However, the features cannot be vulgarized to all ‘talented learners’ because each student has unique ontogeny models. Surmise drawn from the research done by general intelligence, multiple intelligence, and neo-Piagetian researchers designate the main common feature of such students in their language. Despite their level of performance, gifted students depict a high tier of language development with a high verbal tier. In the case of Mercy, her language was characterized by embracing lexicon and a great sense of witticism.

According to (Song, et al. 2017), talented apprentices display an advanced comprehension in that they possess the ability to form and utilize conceptual fabrics. The pliantism of their thoughts enables them to have many alternatives towards solving a problem, making them agile in coming up with solutions. Mercy’s score depicts her ability to draw answers from a wide range of sentiments. The assessment study from her teacher indicated that her tending was ranked high and this meant that she was always attentive in class. This proves Silverman’s argument that extraordinary data measures and unusual retentivity characterize the students.This expresses the reason behind the sizeable mental storage capacity and their sharp memory.

Following the above-stated characteristics of gifted students, teachers should be very keen while teaching the students because a slight change in the teacher’s teaching style would bring some misunderstanding to the prentice. The fact that many countries haven’t updated their teaching curriculums speculate the teaching techniques applicable to talented students doesn’t mean that they are handled in the same manner as the other students. The research done to date further states that teachers to teach gifted students should possess some unique characteristics such as exuberance, creativity, and expertise in the field they are teaching.

A teacher should therefore be intelligent for them to handle each student by their phase of learning. Mills (2017) researched to find out why some teachers are more effective in teaching gifted learners than other teachers of the same tier of expertise. She came to the conclusion that certification and schematic training in gifted education would not be decent factors of consideration when priming teachers for gifted students. In her argument, she proposes that it may be wiser to pick out teachers based on their experience in the academic discipline of interest and those with passion for the subject matter. Other than expertise, personality and cognitive vogue predilection may be vital too to consider.

All in all, gifted students are susceptible creatures to handle. Teachers handling them should be very keen not to harass and oppress them. In this case, Mercy has imposed an underachievement in creative writing despite of her being a gifted learner. The teachers engaging talented students should bear in mind that they possess a sharp memory, large brain capacity, and a high level of curiosity, and any slight change in their teaching etiquette would highly impact their consciousness.

Mills, Carolina Johnson. Characteristics of effective teachers of gifted students: Teacher background and personality styles of students. Gifted Child Quarterly , 47 (4), 2017. 272-281.

Song, Kwang‐Han, and Marion Porath. “Common and domain‐specific cognitive characteristics of gifted students: an integrated model of human abilities.” High ability studies 16.02, 2017. 229-246.

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Suzanne Daw

This paper was completed as a part of a university course following a great deal of research about Enrichment and Acceleration for gifted and talented students in high schools in NSW. It contains a power point that was used to present the ideas of enrichment and acceleration to staff at a NSW high school during a professional development day. It was very well received and staff really enjoyed the collaboration during the 'scenarios'.

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Based on my autoethnographic work, this paper illuminates the consequences of allowing a focus on achievement to overshadow the importance of the inner experience of giftedness. Growing up identified as a gifted child, but lacking an awareness of what it means to be gifted, created great inner conflict as I struggled with feeling too different and out of sync from the norm. As an adult, I have found that Dąbrowski's theory of positive disintegration provides a framework for understanding the power of multilevel development. Lacking guidance to help me understand that these differences were indicators of strong developmental potential—and not mental illness—led to two decades of inappropriate treatment. To ignore or deny the inner experience is an injustice to gifted individuals of all ages.

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The case for gifted education

sample case study of a gifted child

Editor’s note: This is an edition of “Advance,” a newsletter from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute written by Brandon Wright, our Editorial Director, and published every other week. Its purpose is to monitor the progress of gifted education in America, including legal and legislative developments, policy and leadership changes, emerging research, grassroots efforts, and more. You can subscribe on the Fordham Institute website and the newsletter’s Substack .

We have ample evidence that a number of education programs targeted at advanced students significantly improve their learning outcomes. Because of that, high-quality gifted education—or what would be better labeled “advanced education”—has two primary benefits. One, it helps maximize the potential of participating students, which is something every child deserves. And two, in better developing the talent of these advanced students, it supports America’s economic, scientific, and technological prowess in an increasingly competitive global market. It’s therefore important that more school leaders adopt these policies and implement them well.

As Jonathan Plucker, Julian C. Stanley Professor of Talent Development at Johns Hopkins University, explained in a Fordham Institute article a couple years ago, the two interventions with the most robust evidence behind them are acceleration and ability grouping—with enrichment, such as summer and residential programs, having generally positive results, too.

Acceleration is “an academic intervention that moves students through an educational program at a rate faster or at an age that is younger than typical,” reports the highly-respected Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa . It comes in at least twenty forms, with the most common being whole grade skipping and receiving higher-level instruction in a single subject. It is “one of the most-studied intervention strategies in all of education, with overwhelming evidence of positive effects on student achievement,” writes Plucker. One study that looked at approximately 100 years of research on the intervention’s impact on K–12 academic achievement, for example, found three meta-analyses showing that “accelerated students significantly outperformed their nonaccelerated same-age peers,” and three others showing that “acceleration appeared to have a positive, moderate, and statistically significant impact on students’ academic achievement.” The Belin-Blank Center also offers an excellent and thorough summary of the evidence related to acceleration.

Numerous high-quality studies have also found that flexible ability grouping—arranging students by academic achievement in the same or separate classrooms—is a net positive for advanced students and isn’t detrimental to their peers. The aforementioned review of a century of research, for example, looked at thirteen meta-analyses of ability grouping, and three models boosted outcomes: within-class grouping, cross-grade subject grouping, and special grouping for the gifted. Moreover, there seemed to be little downside for medium- and low-achieving students, and often upside . Research on curriculum models can also be placed under the ability-grouping umbrella, and “ those studies suggest that pre-differentiated, prescriptive curricula lead to significant growth in advanced learning,” writes Plucker.

Because these interventions work, we ought to use them. Why? Because doing so benefits both the individual students and the country in general. Each and every child deserves an education that meets their needs and enhances their futures, and advanced students are no different. They have their own legitimate claim on our conscience, our sense of fairness, our policy priorities, and our education budgets.

What’s more, many of them also face such challenges as disability, poverty, ill-educated parents, non-English-speaking homes, and tough neighborhoods. Many also attend schools awash in low achievement, places where all the incentives and pressures on teachers and administrators are to equip weak pupils with basic skills in reading, writing, and arithmetic. Such schools understandably invest their resources in boosting lower achievers. They’re also most apt to judge teachers by their success in doing that and least apt to have much to spare—energy, time, incentive, or money—for students already above the proficiency bar.

It’s advanced students from these disadvantaged and oft-marginalized backgrounds who most need these programs—but they’re also the least likely to have access to them. A Fordham study in 2018 called Is There A Gifted Gap? found, for example, that White students constitute 47.9 percent of the student population but 55.2 percent of those enrolled in advanced learning programs, while the comparable figures for Black students are 15.0 and 10.0 percent, and for Hispanic students, 27.6 and 20.8 percent. And these forces contribute to widening gaps as they progress through grades. Those latter student groups are 49 and 23 percent less likely, respectively, to participate in Advanced Placement than their peers, and 62 percent and 51 percent less likely, respectively, to take part in International Baccalaureate courses when attending a school that offers them. Better-designed programming for advanced students in more places, implemented well, would help change that.

The second big reason for more and better advanced education interventions is that the country needs these children to be highly educated to ensure its long-term competitiveness, security, and innovation. They’re the young people most apt to become tomorrow’s leaders, scientists, and inventors, and to solve our current and future critical challenges. The same point was framed in different words in the 1993 federal report titled National Excellence: A Case for Developing America’s Talent : “In order to make economic strides,” the authors wrote, “America must rely upon many of its top-performing students to provide leadership—in mathematics, science, writing, politics, dance, art, business, history, health, and other human pursuits.”

But the U.S. and its schools have long underperformed many of our competitor countries, according to two respected international metrics: the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) , in which dozens of countries participate. PISA tests fifteen-year-olds in math, science, and reading, and organizes its scores into seven levels, from 0 to 6, with high scorers generally being those who reach level 5 or 6. TIMMS assesses fourth and eighth graders in math and science and splits its scores into five levels, with a high achiever judged as one who reaches at least 625 on the relevant scales.

Using these cutoffs on the most recent math assessments—2018 for PISA and 2019 for TIMSS—illustrates the magnitude of the problem.

In the TIMSS results, the U.S. ranks eleventh in grade four and eighth in grade eight. In both, America landed behind Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and Russia. Worse, the top-performing countries have two, three, and in the case of Singapore, almost four times the proportion of advanced students as does the U.S. The only silver lining is that many of these countries are small. America’s vast scale means that we have a decently large number of high achievers in raw numbers.

PISA paints an even worse picture for high-achieving high school students in the U.S., mirroring our dismal NAEP results for twelfth-graders . Rankings include all members of the OECD that took the assessment, plus Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and a quartet of Chinese cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang). That’s a total of forty jurisdictions. The United States comes in thirty-fourth, behind all participants in Asia and every participant in Europe except Spain, Turkey, and Greece.

The problem, of course, is not that the United States lacks smart children. It’s that such kids aren’t getting the education they need to realize their potential, allowing other countries like China to forge ahead. Using other international test data, for example, economists Eric Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann estimate that a “10 percentage point increase in the share of top-performing students” within a country “is associated with 1.3 percentage points higher annual growth” of that country’s economy, as measured in per-capita GDP. Which is to say, if the U.S. propelled more of its young people into the ranks of high achievers, it would be markedly more prosperous—with faster growth, higher employment, better wages, and all that comes with these. As the United States faces ever-steepening economic competition from China and elsewhere—not to mention mounting challenges to our national security and wellbeing, including climate change, intergenerational poverty, growing partisanship, and much more—the stakes are high and rising.

The good news is that we have evidence-based methods for reversing these trends: acceleration, ability grouping, and enrichment programs. When well-designed and carefully implemented, these interventions have long proven to boost the achievement of advanced students. This in turn gives these young people the education they deserve, and helps ensure American competitiveness, prosperity, and security for future generations. Sadly, far too many schools don’t offer these services or don’t implement them well, and there’s a misguided push to eliminate them in more places. Instead, more districts should adopt them—the sooner the better.

QUOTE OF NOTE

“A group of U.S. children could be set up for failure, despite the fact that they have a notable academic advantage over their peers. Gifted children fall victim to a belief shared by parents, educators, and legislators alike that they ‘will be fine on their own.’”

“ When the ‘gifted’ kids aren’t all right ,” Deseret News, Addison Whitmer, November 22, 2022

THREE STUDIES TO STUDY

“ Who Is Considered Gifted From a Teacher’s Perspective? A Representative Large-Scale Study ,” by Jessika Golle, Trudie Schils, Lex Borghans, and Norman Rose, Gifted Child Quarterly, Volume 67, Issue 1, 2023

“Teachers play important roles in identifying and promoting gifted students. An open question is: Which student characteristics do teachers use to evaluate whether a student is gifted or not? We used data from a representative sample of Dutch primary school teachers (N = 1,304) who were asked whether or not they thought the students (N = 26,720) in their class were gifted. We investigated students’ cognitive and noncognitive attributes as well as demographic factors that might be relevant for this judgment. In sum, the findings revealed that teachers considered students to be gifted when, in comparison with their peers, students were superior in cognitive domains, especially with respect to academic achievement, scored higher on openness to experience and lower on agreeableness, were male, were younger, and came from families with higher parental education.”

“ Promises, Pitfalls, and Tradeoffs in Identifying Gifted Learners: Evidence from a Curricular Experiment ,” by Angel H. Harris, Darryl V. Hill, and Matthew A. Lenard, Annenberg Institute at Brown University, July 2022

“Disparities in gifted representation across demographic subgroups represents a large and persistent challenge in U.S. public schools. In this paper, we measure the impacts of a school-wide curricular intervention designed to address such disparities. We implemented Nurturing for a Bright Tomorrow (NBT) as a cluster randomized trial across elementary schools with the low gifted identification rates in one of the nation’s largest school systems. NBT did not boost formal gifted identification or math achievement in the early elementary grades. It did increase reading achievement in select cohorts and broadly improved performance on a gifted identification measure that assesses nonverbal abilities distinct from those captured by more commonly used screeners. These impacts were driven by Hispanic and female students. Results suggest that policymakers consider a more diverse battery of qualifying exams to narrow disparity gaps in gifted representation and carefully weigh tradeoffs between universal interventions like NBT and more targeted approaches.”

“ The Experience of Parenting Gifted Children: A Thematic Analysis of Interviews With Parents of Elementary-Age Children ,” by Jodi L. Peebles, Sal Mendaglio, and Michelle McCowan, Gifted Child Quarterly, Volume 67, Issue 1, 2023

“This qualitative study aimed to delve deeply into the phenomenon by interviewing parents of elementary-age gifted children. We conducted 12 interviews with parents whose children attended gifted schools. The interview transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis to identify key themes related to the experience of parenting gifted children. Themes identified included the parents’ description of a “child-driven” approach to parenting, experiencing social isolation due to a lack of understanding, and physical and emotional feelings of exhaustion. The findings are particularly important for parents of gifted children, and other professionals who would benefit from a better understanding of the day-to-day experience of raising gifted children.”

WRITING WORTH READING

“ Does growth mindset matter? The debate heats up ,” Hechinger Report, Jill Barshay, December 5, 2022

“ From a formerly gifted and talented kid, now burnt-out adult: Slow down and take care of yourself ,” The Flat Hat, Vivian Hoang, December 5, 2022

“ Teens embrace AP class featuring Black history, a subject under attack ,” Washington Post, Sydney Trent, December 2, 2022

“ NYC’s ‘gifted and talented’ application timeline moves up ,” Chalkbeat, Michael Elsen-Rooney, November 30, 2022

“ Should your child take AP or IB classes? It could save them thousands in tuition .” Green Bay Press-Gazette, Danielle DuClos, November 29, 2022

“ Schools for gifted students: What to know ,” U.S. News, Andrew Warner, November 29, 2022

“ Michigan to start notifying parents of AP eligibility ,” News-Herald, Matthew Fahr, November 24, 2022

“$1.5 million NSF award will power scholarships and support for high-achieving, low-income engineering students ,” Temple Now, Sarah Frasca, November 18, 2022

“ We need to rethink gifted and talented education in NC ,” The Daily Tar Heel, Georgia Roda-Moorhead, November 15, 2022

sample case study of a gifted child

Brandon Wright is the Editorial Director of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He is the coauthor or coeditor of three books: Failing our Brightest Kids: The Global Challenge of Educating High-Ability Students  (with Chester E. Finn, Jr.), Charter Schools at the…

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Identification

Identification needs to occur over time, with multiple opportunities to exhibit gifts. One test at a specific point in time should not dictate whether someone is identified as gifted. Read NAGC's position statement, Underrepresentation is widely spread. It’s estimated that African American, Hispanic American, and Native American students are underrepresented by at least 50% in programs for the gifted.1 Learn more about identification in and read NAGC's position statement, Professionals must seek ways to gather examples across various domains and contexts, using both objective and subjective identification instruments.

Typically, identification policies and procedures are determined at the district level. Because no two gifted children are alike is important to collect information on both the child's performance and potential through a combination of objective (quantifiably measured) and subjective (personally observed) identification instruments in order to identify gifted and talented students.

Districts typically follow a systematic, multi-phased process for identifying gifted students to find students who need services beyond the general education program: 1) Nomination or identification phase; 2) Screening or selection phase; 3) Placement phase. In the nomination and screening phase, various identification tools should be used to eliminate bias.




Individual intelligence and achievement tests are often used to assess giftedness.

However, relying on IQ or performance results alone may overlook certain gifted populations.

Nominations help cast a wide net for identifying as many students as possible who might qualify for gifted services. Often, gifted characteristic checklists, inventory, and nomination forms are completed by students, parents, teachers, and administrators to provide an informal perspective.


Grades, state and standardized tests are sometimes used as data points during the gifted identification process.

 

Teachers may make observations and use rating scales or checklists for students who exhibit a certain trait or characteristic during instruction. Sample rating scales include Scales for Rating Behavioral Characteristics of Superior Students (Renzulli & Smith, 1977), Purdue Academic Rating Scales (PARS), Whitmore or Rimm Underachievement Scales, and Cultural Characteristics Scales.

 

Portfolios or work that is collected over time should include student reflections of their products and/or performances. Portfolios may be developed for both academic (language arts, math) and creative (speech, arts, music) pursuits.

 

While many forms may be used to identify gifted children, an academic or artistic case study approach can offer a more comprehensive process. Case studies may include data, observations, and growth demonstrated in various settings.

National Association for Gifted Children:  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Corwin Press.

sample case study of a gifted child

Remember Me

sample case study of a gifted child

5/22/2024 NAGC Applauds White House Efforts to Further Desegregate Schools

5/14/2024 NAGC Launches Excelencia Latina Scholarships, Celebrating Excellence in Latino Gifted Students

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  2. Case Study of a Gifted Student Essay Example [Updated]

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  1. (PDF) David, H. (2014). Joy: A case study of a gifted underachiever

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    aim of this study is to introd uce the problems faced by gifted children in the social emotional field and. the most common interve ntion programs. Howeve r, possible risk factors and protective ...

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    Abstract. This case study explores the needs of a gifted child in the third grade who was having school problems and, who, despite his high intelligence, was threatened with retention in his grade. It also explores the feelings of rejection of this child and resultant parental concern. Testing procedures are discussed and programmatic ...

  4. (PDF) Differentiating Instruction for Gifted Learners: A Case Studies

    PDF | On Sep 3, 2021, Christine L. Weber and others published Differentiating Instruction for Gifted Learners: A Case Studies Approach | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate

  5. PDF CASE STUDY 7 Gifted and Talented Students and the Next Generation

    Effective strategies include (1) fast pacing, (2) different levels of challenge (including differentiation of content), (3) opportunities for self-direction, and (4) strategic grouping. The vignette below highlights effective strategies that promote learning life science for gifted and talented students in an inclusive elementary science classroom.

  6. Case Study of a Gifted Student

    Case evaluation. Mercy was a ten-year-old gifted girl and was identified from a group of pupils subjected to a creative writing program. She was a pupil from Park west Elementary school in a suburb of a major metropolitan city with a population of five hundred pupils. Mercy's giftedness was demonstrated by psychometric testing, with her ...

  7. Using Life-Story Research in Gifted Education

    Since that time, the contemporary use of life-story research as a type of narrative inquiry has increased, mainly in the disciplines of sociology, education, and health care, and has become a growing element in the narrative study of lives (Cohler, 1988; Gergen & Gergen, 1993; Josselson & Lieblich, 1993). Atkinson (1998) called the subjective ...

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  10. PDF Young Gifted and Working-Class: Issues Arising from Case Studies of

    Keywords: Theories of Giftedness; gifted education; working-class; case studies; Britain. Introduction . This article reports evidence from a small scale study of four working class families, each with a child identified as gifted, who experienced the implementation of England's National Program of

  11. PDF A Twice-Exceptional Child

    Abstract. This is a qualitative case study of a gifted twice-exceptional student with impulse control disorder (ICD) co-diagnosed with depression. This study follows the 'case study' pattern (precedence). The data set of this study is composed of documents from a study involving a twice-exceptional student with adverse event sampling who ...

  12. Case study-Profoundly Gifted Student.pdf

    Denice Scala. This is one school's story of how, by nurturing young gifted children's interests, it caters for their intellectual, social and emotional needs. The emphasis is on flexibility and staff are encouraged to search for creative responses to meet the diversity of students' needs. Download Free PDF. View PDF.

  13. The case for gifted education

    "This qualitative study aimed to delve deeply into the phenomenon by interviewing parents of elementary-age gifted children. We conducted 12 interviews with parents whose children attended gifted schools. The interview transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis to identify key themes related to the experience of parenting gifted children.

  14. PDF Case Study

    EDUC 291-Case Study - 1 - Case Study - Gifted and Talented Name: Josie Robertson Grade: 4 DOB: 11/17/98 School: Arthur Elementary Parents: Andrew and C.J. Allerson ... She is a very creative and energetic child with many interests. She has had some difficulty in school with behaviors in the past due largely

  15. Identification

    Districts typically follow a systematic, multi-phased process for identifying gifted students to find students who need services beyond the general education program: 1) Nomination or identification phase; 2) Screening or selection phase; 3) Placement phase. In the nomination and screening phase, various identification tools should be used to ...

  16. A Case Study of Teachers of Gifted Learners: Moving From Prescribed

    Equally significant is the way each of these teachers assimilates and combines some of the canonical ideas of gifted education. This kind of study is rare in our literature, but may be invaluable for teachers—pre-service teachers or those already working—who want to hone their skills in working with gifted learners.

  17. PDF Policy and Practice: A Case Study of Gifted Education Policy ...

    ren (NAGC) has made state policy development and implementation a priority. Gifted education, mandated in South Carolina (SC) with the passage of the. Education Improvement Act (EIA) of 1984 has evolved over the past 22 years. In this case study, examination of the development and evolution of gifted education policy in SC a.

  18. Exploring Critical Issues in Gifted Education: A Case Studies Approach

    This case study (see Weber et al., 2014 Weber et al., , 2016 or cases developed by individuals themselves provide a less intimidating way to discuss the issues of equity and culturally responsive ...

  19. Case Study of a Gifted Child by Amy McGehee on Prezi Next

    Reasoning: adept critical thinker. HUMOR: highly developed. Student is the third child of four. All children in the family have been tested for gifted, two of which qualified. loves math, says it comes easily to him. has memorized the patterns for solving rubik's cube. has a collection of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head.

  20. PDF Gifted and Talented Students "Underachievement" and Intervention: A

    children is crucial in preventing underachievement. Underachievement is often identified in the school by the teachers via standardized tests and it is measured using a

  21. Gifted Student Case Study by Nick Hussain on Prezi

    Peers often tease me about being smart. 6. I feel overwhelmed by the number of things I can do in life. 7. I feel too different and/or alienated. 8. I worry a lot about world problems and feel helpless to do anything about them.

  22. (PDF) A Case Study of Giftedness and Specific Learning Disabilities

    The case study conducted by Hua and Coleman (2002) on the development of career self-efficacy of a gifted high school student with SLD underlined the importance of recognizing the potential of the ...