Giftedness and increasing inclusion
About not being an Einstein
Giftedness is not about being an ‘Einstein’ and having an IQ score above 130. Among students and teachers prejudice exist about giftedness and although the highest concentration of gifted people is found among the population of students in university (10-15%), knowledge about guidance of these students is limited.
Contrary to the stereotypical view of highly intelligent people being successful and happy without any help, this intelligence often comes with doubt, anxiety, depression and loneliness. For many gifted students, coming to university is a struggle as they question their intelligence and even their identity. In fact, giftedness is not only cognitive ability, but it is a set of characteristics including sensitivity, creativity, doubt and perfectionism.
Although the problems encountered by gifted students are often similar to those encountered by their peers, an extra layer of complexity is added because of these characteristics. Their personal well-being and academic performance can be negatively impacted, and therefore a different approach in helping and guiding them is necessary. Understanding of these layers by themselves and by the people in their environment like teachers/mentors, helps them learn how to thrive in (academic) life.
The ultimate long-term goals of this project are:
- to increase feelings of inclusion among gifted students by creating more awareness for giftedness among students and UM employees
- to enhance individual empowerment, resilience and (academic) performance to support gifted students to develop their talents to their full potential
Our team consists of drs. Anke Smeenk, student adviser FHML, Maartje Cox, student ba Biomedical Sciences, and Melanie Hermans, student ba Biomedical Sciences/Health Sciences.