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Pages: 905-914
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1196

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

EINSTEIN OR COLUMBINE: THE DARK SIDE OF INTELLIGENCE, CREATIVITY, AND TALENT. THE SOCIO-AFFECTIVE DEVELOPMENTAL NEEDS OF GIFTED AND HIGH ACHIEVING STUDENTS

R. Granger Ellis

University of New Orleans (UNITED STATES)
It is often said gifted individuals have powers either to help or to harm. Intelligence, creativity, and talent can steer toward both negative and positive ends of the moral/ethical continuum. Bright individuals can be either creatively malevolent or creatively benevolent depending on the interweaving of their values and behaviors. Gifted individuals are possibly at greater risk for adjustment difficulties, especially during adolescence and adulthood, due to their heightened sensitivity to interpersonal conflicts and higher levels of alienation and stress as a result of their intellectual and creative abilities. Some gifted students struggle in their school and community environments due to emotional intensity, motivation and achievement issues, lack of peers and isolation, identification problems, sensitivity to expectations and feelings, perfectionism, and other difficulties. These gifted students endure and survive in school rather than flourish.

There is an extensive body of research and literature establishing the social and emotional needs of gifted youth. Several unique personality and intellectual characteristics distinguish gifted individuals; these may appear as strengths, but there is the potential for dangerous problems to accompany them. In the affective domain, gifted adolescents face special intrapersonal, interpersonal, and environmental problems. Interpersonal conflicts for gifted individuals originate from unrealistic expectations and being perceived as different by their peers. This often results in gifted individuals denying or rejecting their potential, which in turn leads to intrapersonal difficulties in self-concept, self-acceptance, and self-esteem. Environmental problems result from ill-fitting school settings (feeling hostile, resentful, bored, or uninvolved) or when teachers, parents, and peers accept mediocrity, fail to recognize excellence, or disparage performance.

Gifted individuals develop asynchronously in multidimensional layers (intellectual, psychological, emotional, physical); they are exceedingly mature in some areas and immature in others, which often results in intense frustration, extreme sensitivity, and emotional outbursts. The higher an individual’s intellectual capacity, the more extreme the asynchrony will be. The lives of gifted youth are very complicated because of their asynchronous development, and they have social and emotional difficulties, which can develop into more serious challenges and be devastating enough to alter their decisions and actions. These maladjustments do not simply show up; they happen over a period of developmental time.

The spotlight on bright individuals who act violently against others adds to the common perception that a hidden vulnerability lies in some gifted individuals, and the need for curricula addressing all developmental aspects of gifted students has never been more tragically obvious. With the increase in violent attacks perpetrated by gifted individuals, the difficult questions need to be asked: What went wrong? Could it have been prevented? Are we meeting the needs of the whole gifted individual? What curricula models address the intellectual, moral-ethical, and social-emotional learning needs of gifted students?

This presentation seeks to answer these questions by:
(1) exploring antisocial, violent, and maladjusted behavior among gifted youth and
(2) studying teaching methodology for encouraging psychosocial and socio-affective development.
@InProceedings{GRANGERELLIS2017EIN,
author = {Granger Ellis, R.},
title = {EINSTEIN OR COLUMBINE: THE DARK SIDE OF INTELLIGENCE, CREATIVITY, AND TALENT. THE SOCIO-AFFECTIVE DEVELOPMENTAL NEEDS OF GIFTED AND HIGH ACHIEVING STUDENTS},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.1196},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.1196},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {905-914}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Granger Ellis
TI - EINSTEIN OR COLUMBINE: THE DARK SIDE OF INTELLIGENCE, CREATIVITY, AND TALENT. THE SOCIO-AFFECTIVE DEVELOPMENTAL NEEDS OF GIFTED AND HIGH ACHIEVING STUDENTS
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1196
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 905
EP - 914
ER -
R. Granger Ellis (2017) EINSTEIN OR COLUMBINE: THE DARK SIDE OF INTELLIGENCE, CREATIVITY, AND TALENT. THE SOCIO-AFFECTIVE DEVELOPMENTAL NEEDS OF GIFTED AND HIGH ACHIEVING STUDENTS, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 905-914.
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