About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 4160
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

GIFTED ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN ACHIEVING, UNDERACHIEVING AND NON-PRODUCING STUDENTS

S. Figg

University of New South Whales (AUSTRALIA)
Aim: Academic performance ordinarily distinguishes between achievers and underachievers. A third group, the non-producers, is currently being debated in gifted education. Delisle (1992) introduced the idea of the ‘nonproducer’, describing them as sharing low academic performance with underachievers, but having distinct characteristics. Non-producers, Delisle suggested, have a higher academic self-perception and non-producers have specific learning preferences and they choose not to achieve because school learning lacks purpose. No previous research has been done to empirically distinguish non-producers from underachievers. This paper presents the results of a quantitative pilot study aimed at determining if non-producers can be distinguished from underachievers with regards to academic self-perception and learning preferences.

Method: A total of 112 gifted students from one independent secondary boys’ school participated in the study. The sample comprised Year 8 (n= 37), Year 9 (n=28) and Year 10 (n=47) students. Students were selected to participate based on their intellectual and academic abilities. Each participant was categorised as achieving, underachieving, or non-producing based on the students’ academic achievement and academic order of merit within their year group. Participants completed two questionnaires, one designed to assess school and academic attitude (The School Attitude Assessment Survey-Revised), and one designed to assess thinking style preferences (Thinking Styles Inventory-Short Form). A multivariate analysis of variance using a Bonferroni adjusted alpha level, with a post hoc analysis, was performed to investigate student category differences on these two variables.

Results: Results show that gifted non-producers cannot be distinguished as a separate group from gifted achievers or underachievers with regard to academic self-perception nor thinking style preference. However, results show that on both variables non-producers are much closer in profile to achieving students than to underachieving students. This leaning of non-producing students toward the profile of achieving students rather than underachieving students bears weight to the argument that the term underachievement is too broad and all-encompassing and should be deconstructed as there is a subgroup of students, the non-producers, who differ in characteristics and who should be considered as separate to underachieving students.

Discussion: This study offers the first quantitative evidence to support Delisle’s (1992) observation that there is a subgroup of underachieving students that are qualitatively different and should be acknowledged as a separate group. These findings have an important implication for the field of gifted underachievement. The merit of separating non-producing students from underachieving students lies in the intervention strategies that will be adopted to address their lack of academic performance. If the profile of non-producers is qualitatively different to that of underachievers it is valid to argue that intervention strategies would have to be different to address their variances.

@InProceedings{FIGG2009GIF,
author = {Figg, S.},
title = {GIFTED ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN ACHIEVING, UNDERACHIEVING AND NON-PRODUCING STUDENTS },
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4160}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Figg
TI - GIFTED ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN ACHIEVING, UNDERACHIEVING AND NON-PRODUCING STUDENTS
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 4160
EP - 4160
ER -
S. Figg (2009) GIFTED ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN ACHIEVING, UNDERACHIEVING AND NON-PRODUCING STUDENTS , ICERI2009 Proceedings, p. 4160.
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