Underachievement describes a discrepancy between a student’s performance and his/her actual ability, with no underlying learning disability to account for the discrepancy. Gifted underachievers typically earn high scores on ability measurements, but their classroom achievement falls far short of expectations. These students may be overlooked for gifted services because they have poor grades.
To help prevent underachievement, it is important that school staff recognize gifted learners early and provide appropriate services. It is also important to recognize underachievement when it does occur, and take steps to help gifted learners achieve their full potential. There are many complex reasons why students become underachievers, and an individual approach is necessary to identify and overcome those patterns of underachievement. Parents, classroom teachers, school data teams, and the District GATES Coordinator will review information with this in mind, and include underachievement as a reason for SIT referral.
Characteristics of Underachievement
“A pupil from whom nothing is ever demanded which he cannot do, never does all he can.”
-John Stuart Mill
“It must be as socially acceptable to support genius that is intellectual as it is to support genius that is athletic.”
- Michael Clay Thompson
Motivational Suggestions for Teachers & Parents
“Excellence in education is when we do everything that we can to make sure they become everything that they can”
- Carol Tomlinson