All individuals have the ability to learn and attain self-fulfillment, however many young people are at risk of failing to achieve their academic potential. Gifted students are one group of exceptional learners who are not normally considered at risk for academic failure. However, the underachievement of academically gifted students is an area of concern and frustration for many parents, teachers, and counselors. Why do some students, who seem capable of outstanding performance, fail to realize their potential? What causes some gifted students to underachieve in school? Can we predict which gifted students are at the greatest risk for underachievement? What can we do to reverse a student’s academic underachievement?
While there are many factors that contribute to achievement, students who are achievementoriented appear to exhibit three key perceptions and a behavior. First, and foremost, they find value in their school experience. School is meaningful. They enjoy what they are doing or believe that what they are doing will produce beneficial outcomes. Second, they believe that they have the skills to be successful. Third, they trust their environment and expect that they can succeed in it. When students have positive attitudes in each of these three areas, they are more likely to produce self-regulated behavior. Self-regulated learners set realistic expectations and implement appropriate strategies for academic success. Some of these four components may play a stronger influence than others, but overall, we believe that achievement-oriented individuals possess some combination of them.
Valuing Academic Tasks
First and foremost, students must value academics. “When students value a task, they will be more likely to engage in it, expend more effort on it, and do better on it” (Wigfield, 1994, p. 102). Students who do not value the goals of school do not find any purpose in what they are learning, they don’t see any pay-off for learning it, and they’re not interested in learning it, so they turn off and tune out. The following are some minor modifications that will increase the task value of activities for students:
Encourage and promote your students’ interests and passions
Help students to see beyond the immediate activity to the long-term outcomes. A school assignment may seem unimportant, but pursuing a dream career may be an outcome that your student is willing to strive toward. Parents and educators may wish to share how they use various skills learned in school in pursuit of their career choices.
Help students to set short and long-term academic goals. Small, short-term goals work better for younger students. It is essential that the goals are meaningful to students. Talk with them about possible goals. Remember, goals that adults value may have little meaning to children.
Students are more likely to become engaged with material that is optimally challenging. Ensure that all students are challenged (but not frustrated) by classroom activities.
Young people must also believe they have the skills to perform the task. Self-efficacy refers to individuals’ judgment of their capacity to perform specific activities. The perceptions students have about their skills influence the types of activities they select, how much they challenge themselves at those activities, and the persistence they exhibit once they are involved in the activities (Bandura, 1986).
Students need to believe that they have the skills to be successful. This can be accomplished by helping them recognize the skills that they have developed. Two factors need to be present: First, they must believe they have the skills to do well and second, they must be aware that they didn’t always have those skills (the skills were something they developed).
The way we compliment young people has an impact on how successful they perceive themselves to be. It is important to be specific with comments. A general compliment such as “Good work” does not carry the weight of something more specific such as “You really know your threes times tables.” The latter provides more information about what has been performed well. The student will likely reflect on the comment and think, “Yes, I am good at threes.” Students are able to better cognitively appraise their progress when feedback is specific or when we’ve helped them be aware of specific things they do well. Of course, compliments must be genuine and earned. Complimenting children for tasks that they did not perform well or for unchallenging tasks can be counterproductive and diminish their trust. In addition to helping students recognize the skills they have, you need to help them understand that their abilities are not strictly innate. Dweck (1975) demonstrated that students who believe abilities can be developed and are not fixed are more likely to attempt challenging tasks and persevere more in the face of difficulties than students who believe abilities are innate. When we discuss a student’s achievement with him/her, we ought to mention specific skills he/she has developed by drawing attention to the skill and to its development. We need to balance the role effort and ability play. This can easily be accomplished by recognizing the skill as something the student developed (without drawing undue attention to the effort used). For example, “Look at how well you’ve learned your threes tables” is more effective than “You are good at your threes tables.” The word “learned” indicates that this is a skill that didn’t always exist and implies that future skills can also be acquired.
Students who view their environment as friendly and one that will provide positive outcomes are more likely to demonstrate achievement-oriented behavior. It is not enough to be confident that they have certain skills, they must expect that they will succeed if they put forth effort. Rathvon (1996) hypothesized that, “The underachiever’s failure to assume responsibility arises from his unconscious belief that his own efforts do not affect the events or individuals in his world” (p. 66). Student’s perceptions of the friendliness of the environment may or may not be accurate. The first step is to determine whether students’ perceptions are distorted. If they are not, then changes need to be made in the environment. These changes must be implemented with input from the student. For example, if a child feels it is too noisy to study at home, ask the child what needs to be done to make it quiet enough. It may be as simple as asking, “What would it take for you do well?” Students must be involved in helping find solutions to the environmental roadblocks they perceive.
The factors of task value, self-efficacy, and environmental perceptions are critical to being motivated. But being motivated may not be sufficient. Students must be engaged in and complete the task. They may feel that math is important, believe that they can do well in mathematics, and like their school and teachers, but they do not follow through and execute the math assignment.
Many gifted students may lack the self-management strategies of time management and study skills. Because gifted students often progress through the early years of school without being challenged, they sometimes fail to develop the self-management skills that other students master. In the early grades, good memory and fast processing skills can compensate for note taking and other study skills. Often, educators attempt to teach students study skills before students need those skills to be successful. This process usually frustrates both the teachers and the students. Self-regulatory skills are more likely to be internalized when they are needed to solve the problem at hand. A solution to the problem is to provide gifted students with an academically challenging curriculum early, and throughout their school careers. Another aspect of self-regulation involves setting personal standards. Some students may feel that what they are doing is “good enough.” If students haven’t been academically challenged in the past, they may believe they can achieve satisfactory results with very little effort. Gifted students may also underachieve to hide their need for perfectionism. The third category of self-regulation is self-monitoring. These skills include monitoring distractibility, practicing delayed gratification, and awareness of performance avoidance. t Encourage students to pursue excellence, rather than perfection. Adults can model acceptance of their mistakes while striving for excellence. Gifted students should not be expected, or expect, to complete every task, in every area, with 100% accuracy. t Help students plan tasks. This serves two functions. First, it develops a mindset that the task is doable. Young people are often reluctant to begin a task because they are unsure how to begin. Second, it minimizes the unknown. Through planning, children can visualize a task coming to fruition. t Help students set realistic expectaions. This involves setting goals that are difficult enough to be challenging, yet not so difficult as to be unachievable and discouraging. Learning occurs best when new material cannot be mastered without assistance, but can be mastered with minor direction from someone more knowledgeable (Vygotsky, 1939/1962). Much that motivates young people is still a mystery. The suggestions presented in this article provide insights into some strategies that promote achievement-orientation. Adults can support students and encourage them to pursue their interests and passions. With a little effort, educators and parents can help students to see that what they are doing serves a purpose, to believe they have the skills to perform well, to trust that their environments will encourage their productivity, and to set realistic expectations for themselves. Early encouragement of achievement-oriented behaviors is a major step toward helping young people lead productive and fulfilling lives.
This Tips for Parents article is from a seminar hosted by Del Siegle and D. Betsy McCoach. It includes a summary of tips and strategies on helping underachieving students to become achievement-oriented individuals. The authors include a discussion of the psychology and rationale for each tip.
From The Collection Magazine
by William Hauptman
Photo by Les Anderson
Colorado Assoc.of Gifted & Talented
he Sundance Film Festival has helped put Park City on the global stage of arts and entertainment. Each year the non-profit organization introduces a global audience to ground-breaking films including Napoleon Dynamite and An Inconvenient Truth.
In Park City the organization has a significant impact on the tight knit community. Each year in January the Sundance Institute offers exclusive events and priority ticket availability to approximately 15,000 Utah residents. Some of the exclusive events include a free “Best of the Fest” screening and “Townie Tuesday Screenings” for Summit County residents. These complimentary Creenings allow locals to view these award-winning films prior to the festival.
In addition every year, Sundance Institute selects more than 1,800 volunteers — more than half of whom live in Utah — to help create a global platform for independent film.
The Institutes’ Community Programs also bring other cultural events to Utah residents including musical perfomances and discussions from recent and past Institute alumni.
It is estimated that the film festival had an $80 million economic impact in 2012, including $5.9 million in tax revenue, according to the Sundance Institute. Over the years Sundance Institute and its programs have become a great tourism boost. This is great for Park City’s local businesses. The Institute reports that since 2001, the Sundance Institute through its annual Sundance Film Festival has genereated in excess of onehalf billion dollars in economic activitiy for Utah. The festival is the state’s largest annual international event bolstering tourism and attracting worldwide media attention.
Sundance Institute is a global nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Through its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and playwrights, the Institute seeks to discover and support independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to inform, inspire, and unite diverse populations around the globe.
From The Collection Magazine
“The International Sundance Film Festival”
by William Hauptman
The Boutique Exclusive Edition from IWC brings together three successful and stunningly beautiful models in red gold. The exquisite timepieces are available in strictly limited editions exclusively from IWC boutiques.
The Boutique Exclusive Edition is the crowning glory for Schaffhausen’s traditionsteeped watch manufacturer. Three outstanding models – the Portuguese Hand- Wound Boutique Edition, the Ingenieur Automatic Boutique Edition and the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Boutique Edition – will be issued in red gold: a small but all-important difference.
All three models, as rare as they are beautiful, will be available exclusively from IWC boutiques. Visitors to the stores, one of which opened recently at number 61 in Zurich’s famous Bahnhofstrasse, can look forward to professional expertise at the highest level, gain a fascinating insight into the world of IWC and savour a special type of exclusivity in the form of the Boutique Editions.
With a choice of three limited models in warm, 18-carat red gold cases, this year’s Boutique Exclusive Edition references some of the most exciting phases in the company’s long and wide-ranging history. The Portuguese Hand-Wound Boutique Edition comes in a 44-millimetre Portuguese casefitted with the 98295 calibre. Back in 1939, its predecessor was the first pocket watchsized model designed for the wrist. With its unusual dimensions, unconventional movement and understated elegance, it established a whole new genre in watch design.
The pocketwatch movement of the Portuguese Hand-Wound Boutique Edition has seen further improvements but still includes many of the design cues found in the first movements developed by company founder F. A. Jones. These include an elongated index, which is used to set the effective length of the balance spring and extends from the balance cock over the three-quarter plate. The watch, featuring a sapphire-glass back, silver plated dial, red gold Arabic numerals and slender “feuille” hands, will be limited to just one thousand pieces worldwide.
The Ingenieur Automatic Boutique Edition recalls another exciting era in IWC’s history: during the late 1940s and early 1950s, the company’s legendary Technical Director Albert Pellaton developed the first IWC automatic movement with a pawlwinding system. The mechanism was named after him and is still used by IWC today. The 80111 calibre, which replaced it several years ago and was developed specially for the modern versions of the Ingenieur, is now even more robust. It is also the driving force behind the Boutique Edition with its brown dial and red gold indices, and can be admired through the sapphire-glass back in the original Ingenieur’s 42.5-millimetre red gold case. This model is limited to 500 pieces.
The third model in the trio brings us even closer to the present day: the red gold Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Boutique Edition comes with a perpetual calendar and the original 46.2-millimetre case diameter of the Big Pilot’s Watch launched exactly ten years ago. An impressive time machine with a gold-plated dial featuring the time as well as displays for the date, day, month, and year in four digits and double moon for the northern and southern hemispheres. The 51614-calibre automatic movement has a seven-day power reserve. The time remaining is displayed on the watch dial. Equally unique and typical of IWC is the independent, mechanically programmed calendar with its complete, four-digit year display, which will require no correction until the year 2100 and can be advanced, together with all the other calendar displays, in one-day steps via the crown. The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Boutique Edition, the biggest of the three models in this special edition, also comes with a sapphireglass back. It is limited to 250 pieces.
With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing watches of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at its finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive design.
From The Collection Magazine
“IWC Boutique Exclusive Edition”
Stop to consider exactly what your briefcase or bag is to you and what it says about you as an individual. What is the message it sends? For men, your bag can telegraph power and individual style. It can position you as strong-minded and a forward thinker, or someone who follows the style or trend. The bag you carry is your safe, your portable jewelry box and your first impression. It is your identity, it finishes your look, it conveys your style and it is your portable assistant when you’re in a meeting or on the road.
The bag you choose to carry should be well thought out and tailored to your individual needs. It should be made with specific considerations to style and functionality. Your bag is your personal assistant and often your first impression.
Most of all your bag needs to work for you. Don’t be fooled that the designer’s name will necessarily guarantee a better bag. This is why I abandoned my Bally Switzerland and switched to BORLINO®, a small boutique bag company located outside of beautiful Denver, Colorado.
I threw out all my previous notions that have swayed me to the big names through relentless advertising. BORLINO® was love at first sight. These leather luxuries became a must have.
The first thing that appealed to me about BORLINO® bags is the leather. Sturdy and luxurious to the touch. The leathers have a beautiful colour, consistency, patina and an excellent recovery. Obviously top-quality young leather. The edges of the straps were precise and neat. Some bags in the BORLINO® line have optional canvas straps that increase the versatility of the bag for dress or casual wear. BORLINO® Italian leather is always consistent and unblemished I am hard on my bags. The hardware has to look good, but more important it has to be high quality and last. BORLINO® uses only brass as the base metal and they are beefy and beautiful. After intense use of the bag there was no ‘rub off’. BORLINO ® made this a priority for guys like me. However, the beauty is as lasting as the hardware’s durability.
I looked at a variety of BORLINO® bags before I made my choice. With each, my first impression was always quality, however, I was struck with the balance that the designer found regarding the weight of the bag. This is primarily a psychological exercise. I’m a big guy and like a substantial bag. But BORLINO® bags never seem to cross the line to heavy. The bags are graced with premium leathers and precious metal hardware, so a certain amount of weight is necessary to provide the quality I demand. A true test of a smart bag is found when you start to handle it. A good bag should have functionality at its core. The details, the straps, the handles, the zips have to be thought out carefully. It is what separates a good design from the pack. A good designer will consider the materials and functions in context of the style. The balance of these elements, the lines and the proportions, need to be meticulously thought out. BORLINO® rises to the pinnacle of this balance. When you open a BORLINO® bag you will find an organized world of fine detail that will become your kingdom as well as your travel trunk. This is a personal place that holds your most valuable possessions. The touch of the interior is the top echelon of luxury. The structure of the bags allows you to stow — and know that what you put inside stays where you put it, and the contents remain easily at hand.
The true essence of a handmade luxury bag is the fine detailing and finish work. The BORLINO® name appears on all the hardware, the stitching lines are straight, the colour is consistent and seams are always flat and as invisible as you can demand from a handmade luxury bag. Often times I look for a slight irregularity. I believe it symbolizes the true charm of a handcrafted item much like the flaw in a diamond can be the “mark” that makes it yours. However, BORLINO® has made that challenging with master craftsmanship.
My greatest attraction to BORLINO® is the fact that it is unique. New to the market in 2012, these bags fulfill the obligation of someone who wants to move beyond the confines of other brand names and carry something unique that is not on every shoulder. The bags are one-of-a-kind and serve my personal style with ease. However, having said that, my wife loves them also.
BORLINO® bags are available at select luxury boutiques, select Neiman Marcus stores or online at www.BORLINO.com
From The Collection Magazine
BORLINO: Enduring Journeys
by William Hauptman
Cherry Hills Village is, by far, Denver’s most prestigious suburb. The Village is well known for its rural atmosphere and quality of life. Incorporated in 1945, it’s location is key as its founders were deeply concerned about preserving the magnificent, open countryside … an attitude still reflected by zoning regulations controlling development today.
The Village is home to many of the city’s most luxurious and expansive residential properties, with most located on one to two acre home sites. Exclusivity, combined with an extensive multi-use trail system, which connects to adjacent cities and other regional trails, makes this community truly one-ofa-kind. Cherry Hills Village offers a tranquil setting while providing convenient access to the metro area’s business and entertainment venues. As I take people around the Village, one thing I often notice is that those just becoming familiar with Cherry Hills are confused by the various subdivisions. Each has it’s own charm and each has a distinct feel and flavor. Each of the areas in the map on the left represent very distinct differences in acreage sizes, home types, and land uses (both historic and present).
There are several gated sub areas in Cherry Hills Village: Buell Mansion, Glenmoor of Cherry Hills, Cherry Hills Park and Cherry Hills Farm. Many of the homes in ungated pockets of Cherry Hills are individually gated, providing exceptional privacy and security, but without a formal homeowner’s association (including the cover property).
Over the years Cherry Hills has transformed from a quiet community of horse properties and brick ranches, to a haven of uber-luxurious mansions. Still, there remains a country charm to the Village that can best be experienced when looking at some of the original acreage parcels that remain intact.
From The Collection Magazine
“Entering Cherry Hills Village”
by Faun G. Hauptman
As real estate professionals, we are often asked about gifted schools and programming from parents whose purchasing decisions are driven in large part by their children’s academic and social needs. As parents of a gifted child ourselves, we know first-hand the added challenges and rewards of finding a good match for a gifted child and a school or program that is able to meet their specific needs.
egin screening schools with information provided on school, district, and state department of education web sites. The percentage of students performing at grade level is not relevant unless it is abysmal. Instead, compare the percentage of students scoring at the top of state or national exams, the average numerical scores of top scorers, and the growth or progress scores for top students. Ask private schools directly for information not available on their Web sites. Then make phone calls to principals at promising schools or schedule brief meetings. Start with the make-or-break questions below. Be polite—compliment the principal on obvious school strengths—but ask your questions, too. ange to visit schools that you’d like to explore in depth. Ask your questions again on site. Observe: do you see the described activities occurring in the classrooms? Request testing information unavailable elsewhere. Contact teachers and parents of other gifted children and ask the same questions of them by phone or in person. Schools committed to gifted students won’t shy away from answering questions. Listen for inconsistencies: few teachers can meet the learning and social needs of gifted children without support from and coordination by the whole school. Inconsistency means that your child may have a roller coaster experience. Here are the must-ask questions and the answers that you should seek:
1.) Does your school raise learning goals when a child is ready? How? Seek: more time spent working at each child’s readiness level and numerous subjects in which advancement is possible. Avoid: schools that claim that “our gradelevel curriculum is challenging for all students.” There is no one-size-fits-all curriculum.
2.) Does your school monitor individual students’ progress during the year? Seek: assessment of students every six weeks, at a minimum; weekly is ideal. The school must use the results of monitoring to increase difficulty for ready students and to change the instructional approach when progress stalls. Avoid: schools that do year-end assessments only or that do not make changes based on monitoring.
3.) What does your school do to teach critical thinking? Seek: significant time spent on research, creative and critical writing, and projects and exercises designed to teach analytic and conceptual thinking. Gifted children need a hefty toolbox of thinking techniques to ensure success and satisfaction. Avoid: schools that spend most of their instructional time on memorization and routine skills like handwriting.
4.) What percentage of students are gifted? Highly gifted? How are children identified? Seek: a large number of similarly gifted children in your child’s classrooms. Your child will develop better social skills, mutual friendships, and improved teamwork if grouped with intellectual peers.
Avoid: schools with few gifted learners or with small numbers spread out among classrooms.
5.) Ask about other needs that are important to your family. For example, ask how your child will be accommodated if he or she is not self-motivated, has learning disabilities, or possesses strong nonacademic talents and interests. Your family may have other essentials to consider, such as scheduling constraints, financial limits, or strong values about what subjects are taught.
If your child must attend a school that does not fit his or her needs closely, fill the gaps at home by offering activities and learning opportunities that the school does not. Request teachers who enjoy gifted children and who use the strategies listed above. Whatever route you take, being smart from the start about what a school should provide will help you choose wisely and enable your child to make the most of the school years.
From The Collection Magazine
“Choosing The Right School For Your Children”
by Faun & William Hauptman