Achievings with Underachievers Paper
Author(s): Mariska Poelman, (Center for the study of Giftedness, Radboud University, The Netherlands), Anneke Craanen, (Radboud University, The Netherlands)
Effects of guidance programs for relative and absolute underachievers in secondary school
Over 80 Dutch high schools participate in the Group screening by the Center for the Study of Giftedness, Radboud University Nijmegen. Every year large numbers of underachievers are detected. It proves to be difficult for schools to set up adequate programs to support these underachievers in transforming their potential into high(er) school performance. Supervised by Mariska Poelman, a combined qualitative and quantative research assignment is undertaken by Anneke Craanen, to investigate the effects of guidance programs in two groups: the absolute underachievers and the relative underachievers.
In this presentation the results are shared of the guidance program we have developed to support underachievers in secondary school to develop their potential into high(er) achievements.
As the underachieving pupils suffer from helpless feelings, lack of self-discipline, etc. several aspects are taken into account, like: mindset, meta-cognitive abilities, study skills, etc.
The guidance program consist of weekly two-hourly meetings during school time, plus additional activities and direct communication between teachers and parents, and uses elements from the following theories
• Mindset theory of Dweck (2006)
• General problem-solving model of Seesink (2003)
• Seven habits of effective teenagers of Sean Covey (1998)
• Meta-cognitive study skills handbook Stella Cottrell (1988)
At first, a groupwise approach was set up, gradually this has been taken over by an individualized program in which coaching as a means of support has proven to be most effective, using recent insight from Coaching Academy International (2014).
Cornerstones of the guidance programs are:
• Respect and accept high ability
• Give feedback
• Give room
• Stop disqualifying
• Repair missing knowledge
• Needs and interests of the pupils• Allow self-direction in learning
Early results point at effectiveness in supporting absolute underachievers to improve their performance to relative underachievement. In the presentation the final results will be shared and discussed.