They believe that only they are aware of their limitations, near misses, and potential for error. They attribute their success to luck, not ability. In an attempt to maintain an illusion of perfection, they avoid situations in which they might not be the best. This is called Impostor’s Syndrome.
All AboutImpostor Syndrome
What happens when students begin to doubt that they are gifted? When they fear that they aren’t as smart as people have said? What happens when they feel like frauds and want to quit?
Our gifted kids receive lots of well-intentioned “you’re so smart” praise. But, this leads directly to a fear of straying beyond their safety zone. In college or the workplace, where they face challenges for the first time, the impostor syndrome rears its terrifying head.
As a 6th grade teacher, I would see students give up just as things became difficult. Because of their natural intelligence, they could succeed without putting in the work that their peers were learning to do. So I introduced a motto.
Ricci’s book builds on Dweck’s research and attacks the problem of the fixed mindset on all fronts, addressing the attitudes of students, but also of school staff and parents. But make sure you read Dweck’s work first.
I love videos of robots messing up tasks. This one in particular struck a chord, because we get to see the robot learn from his mistakes. Let’s have students write him some advice…
The Dunning-Kruger Effect states that those with low-ability in an area tend to over-estimate their skills, while those with high-ability tend to under-estimate their skill. This has serious implications on classrooms and the way we communicate proficiency.