* Too little academic challenge and too little intellectual stimulation produce bored students.
* Too much academic challenge and too little intellectual stimulation produce “turned-off” students.
* Too much academic challenge with adequate intellectual stimulation produce frustrated students.
* Optimal challenge combined with intellectual stimulation produce students who are motivated and
Siegle recommends that teachers use authentic tasks, products and audiences to increase intellectual stimulation. He also noted that higher order thinking and questions promote intellectual stimulation.
Siegle cited the work of Sandra Kaplan (2006) when discussing the oft-heard complaint from students, “Why do I have to learn this stuff?” Kaplan suggests first asking the higher order question, “How will your life be different if don’t learn it?” And, then, ask the more important question, “How might your life be different if you do learn this?”
As educators and as parents, we need to try to connect students to the joy and purpose of learning. We must endeavor to go beyond just explaining that learning is important. We need to help our kids sense the power from the opportunity of learning down in their bones. We must ask the higher order questions about purpose and meaning and stand prepared, not to have all the answers, but to be fully engaged in the ensuing flow of conversation. As a parent, take time to reflect on Kaplan’s two questions and apply them to your own education. Then, start the conversation with your child. You will probably find it to be intellectually stimulating.
Remember, you are welcome to post any parts of the conversations you found to be insightful.
Siegle, D. (2013). The underachieving gifted child: Recognizing, understanding and reversing underachievement. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press, Inc.
Kaplan, S. (2006, July). Gifted students in a contemporary society: Implications for curriculum. Keynote at the 29th annual University of Connecticut Confratute, Storrs, CT.