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Perfectionism in gifted students “ Personally I never felt like anything I did was good enough.” Angela, 17 “Many gifted kids are perfectionists, and they.

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Presentation on theme: "Perfectionism in gifted students “ Personally I never felt like anything I did was good enough.” Angela, 17 “Many gifted kids are perfectionists, and they."— Presentation transcript:

1 Perfectionism in gifted students “ Personally I never felt like anything I did was good enough.” Angela, 17 “Many gifted kids are perfectionists, and they always think they can do better.” Adriane, 12 “They expect themselves to be perfect in all areas of study, therefore when something goes wrong they undermine a prior success.” Sonja, 13

2 What is perfectionism? Perfectionism is a twofaced attribute that can propel an individual to greatness or cripple them with frustration and anxiety. Perfectionism is a twofaced attribute that can propel an individual to greatness or cripple them with frustration and anxiety.

3 Types of Perfectionism Accept mistakes Accept mistakes Enjoy high parental expectations Enjoy high parental expectations Strong need for order Strong need for order Intrinsically motivated Intrinsically motivated Earns high grades Earns high grades Gains pleasure from task completion Gains pleasure from task completion Never feel things are good enough Need to achieve at all costs Desire to be the BEST! Unrealistic and unachievable goals Double telescope view of achievement Healthy PerfectionistNeurotic Perfectionist

4 Ways to measure perfectionism: Burns Perfectionism Scale (1980) Burns Perfectionism Scale (1980) Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (Frost, Marten, Lahart, and Rosenblate 1990) Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (Frost, Marten, Lahart, and Rosenblate 1990) Almost Perfect Scale (Johnson and Slaney 1996) Almost Perfect Scale (Johnson and Slaney 1996)

5 Research has Shown: As a group, gifted students are perfectionistic As a group, gifted students are perfectionistic They seem to be more perfectionistic that average-ability peers They seem to be more perfectionistic that average-ability peers Their perfectionism can be a positive force for high achievement Their perfectionism can be a positive force for high achievement

6 Why? Introverts are typically perfectionist and close half of the gifted population is introverted. Introverts are typically perfectionist and close half of the gifted population is introverted. Because of the gifted child’s lack of challenge from the beginning of their earliest learning experiences they become accustomed to success hence their stringent avoidance of failure. Because of the gifted child’s lack of challenge from the beginning of their earliest learning experiences they become accustomed to success hence their stringent avoidance of failure. Their goals are set according to their metal age not their actual age so their asynchronous development can cause problems. Their goals are set according to their metal age not their actual age so their asynchronous development can cause problems. When their work is unchallenging they strive for perfect performance (like grades) instead of mastery. When their work is unchallenging they strive for perfect performance (like grades) instead of mastery. Perfectionist teachers, parents and competitive peers may cause the gifted student to view their worth as what they can achieve. Perfectionist teachers, parents and competitive peers may cause the gifted student to view their worth as what they can achieve.

7 10 Tips for Combating Perfectionism Be average for a day. Allow yourself to be messy, late, incomplete... Imperfect. Then celebrate your success. Be average for a day. Allow yourself to be messy, late, incomplete... Imperfect. Then celebrate your success. Get involved in activities that are not graded or judged--activities that focus on process, not product. Get involved in activities that are not graded or judged--activities that focus on process, not product. Take a risk, Sign up for a course with a reputation for being challenging. Start a conversation with someone you don’t know. Do an assignment or study for a test with out over doing it. Alter your morning routine, Start a day with out a plan. Give yourself permission to make at least three mistakes a day.

8 Tips continued... Stop using the word “should” in your self-talk. Remove “I have to” form your conversation. Stop using the word “should” in your self-talk. Remove “I have to” form your conversation. Share a weakness or limitation with a friend. Recognize that he or she doesn’t think any less of you as a result. Share a weakness or limitation with a friend. Recognize that he or she doesn’t think any less of you as a result. Acknowledge that your expectations of yourself might be too high, even unrealistic. Savor your past accomplishments. Write about how good they made you feel.

9 Tips continued... Ask your friends to help you “cure” your perfectionism. Perhaps they can give you a sign or a word when they notice you are being a perfectionist. Ask your friends to help you “cure” your perfectionism. Perhaps they can give you a sign or a word when they notice you are being a perfectionist. Join the human race. It’s less lonely when we accept our own and others’ imperfections and feel part of life.

10 Help your gifted child by... “praising them for their efforts and determination, rather than being ‘smart’ or ‘talented’; and by encoraging them to channel their efforts into what they care about most, rather than trying to do everything equally well.”

11 Parents/Teachers: Don’t Single out bright child for special attention Single out bright child for special attention Ignore persistent teasing problem Ignore persistent teasing problem Discipline teasing by drawing more attention to situation Discipline teasing by drawing more attention to situation Give G/T students repetitious work Give G/T students repetitious work Use bright students as teacher aids (ask first) Use bright students as teacher aids (ask first) Punish for misbehaving when there’s nothing interesting to do Punish for misbehaving when there’s nothing interesting to do Teach same topic over and over Teach same topic over and over Encourage perfectionists to spend hours on headings or perfect handwriting Encourage perfectionists to spend hours on headings or perfect handwriting

12 What do the following have in common? Cheese Cheese Chocolate chip cookies Chocolate chip cookies Coco-Cola Coco-Cola Penicillin Penicillin Post-it-notes Post-it-notes Silly putty Silly putty

13 Why Mistakes are Great Mistakes are universal Mistakes are universal Mistakes show that you’re learning Mistakes show that you’re learning Mistakes show that you’re trying something new or different Mistakes show that you’re trying something new or different Mistakes allow you to see your own improvement Mistakes allow you to see your own improvement Mistakes allow you to learn from others Mistakes allow you to learn from others

14 November 4, 2003MCA Convention14

15 April 11, MCA Convention15 Draw it, Write it, Make it Title several note cards with the words, “Draw it, Write it, Make it” Title several note cards with the words, “Draw it, Write it, Make it” On the back of each card, write an interesting question On the back of each card, write an interesting question Ask students to either Ask students to either Draw an answer Draw an answer Write a response Write a response Create an answer with clay Create an answer with clay

16 References Adderholdt, M., Goldburg, J. (1999). Perfectionism: What’s Bad About Being Too Good?. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Pub. Adderholdt, M., Goldburg, J. (1999). Perfectionism: What’s Bad About Being Too Good?. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Pub. Delisle, J., Galbraith, J.(1996). The Gifted Kids’ Survival Guide. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Pub. Delisle, J., Galbraith, J.(1996). The Gifted Kids’ Survival Guide. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Pub.

17 Furr, R., Hill, R., Huelsman, T., Kennedy, C., Kibler, J. Vicente, B. (2004). A New Measure of Perfectionism: The Perfectionism Inventory. Journals of Personality Assessment, 82(1), Furr, R., Hill, R., Huelsman, T., Kennedy, C., Kibler, J. Vicente, B. (2004). A New Measure of Perfectionism: The Perfectionism Inventory. Journals of Personality Assessment, 82(1), Moon, S., Neihart, M., Reis, S., Robeinson, N. (2002). The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children. What Do We Know?. Waco, Texas : Prufrock Press. Moon, S., Neihart, M., Reis, S., Robeinson, N. (2002). The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children. What Do We Know?. Waco, Texas : Prufrock Press.

18 Pruett, G. (2004). Intellectually Gifted Students’ Perceptions of Personal Goals and Work Habits. Gifted Child Today. Pruett, G. (2004). Intellectually Gifted Students’ Perceptions of Personal Goals and Work Habits. Gifted Child Today. Schuler, P. (1999). Voices of Perfectionism: Perfectionistic Gifted Adolescents in a Rural Middle School. The national Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut. Schuler, P. (1999). Voices of Perfectionism: Perfectionistic Gifted Adolescents in a Rural Middle School. The national Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut.

19 The End


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