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Intellectually gifted students and the search for identity

The “me” behind the mask: Intellectually gifted students and the search for identity

Miraca U. M. Gross Citation From Roeper Review. 1998 Feb 20(3)

“The process of identity development in intellectually gifted children and adolescents is complicated by their innate and acquired differences from age-peers. To be valued within a peer culture which values conformity, gifted young people may mask their giftedness and develop alternative identities which are perceived as more socially acceptable. The weaving of this protective mask requires the gifted child to conceal her love of learning, her interests which differ from those of age-peers, and her advanced moral development. If this assumed identity does indeed bring her the social acceptance she seeks, the gifted child may become afraid to take off her mask. Gifted children and adolescents need the opportunity to work and socialize with others of similar abilities and interests if they are to grow towards self-acceptance. This article is illustrated by poetry and diary entries written by highly gifted young people, portraying the process of their own identity development.”

“I have come to the conclusion that the degree of my difference from most people exceeds the average of most people’s difference from one another; or, to put it more briefly, that my reactions to many things don’t conform to popular patterns.” (C.E.M. Joad, 1947.)

Read the article here: The “me” behind the mask: Intellectually gifted students and the search for identity

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