Friday, June 12, 2015

Pushing Our Brightest to Higher Performance through Awareness Coursework

Gifted individuals are untapped national treasures that represent what is best about society in the sense that they push human thought and performance to new levels. Unfortunately, our society has a difficult time identifying gifted individuals, challenging them, and encouraging them to perform at the highest levels. Identifying potentially giftedness in college students and placing them in a course designed around self-awareness of their unique talents can improve their performance and raise their confidence.

Giftedness is a physiological and psychological difference that leads to higher levels of performance. The process of challenge, stress, disintegration, and reemergence is uncharted territory for many researchers. Theories have discussed the difficulties gifted individuals face in their over excitabilities (OE) and positive disintegration that leads to higher performance.

Students may go through their whole lives wondering why they think differently, act differently, get excited about some ideas, and can move in and out of “flow
where the outside world ceases to exist. The higher their intelligence, the more different they see themselves as they rub against conventional wisdom. It is precisely these traits and challenges that push them willingly, or unwillingly, into higher forms of human development.

If the purpose of higher education is to enhance individual knowledge and performance, then such classes should be seen as important. According to Overzier and Nauta (2014) having a gifted class can lead to stronger overall performance of the student. Some individuals may go on to invent new things and solve world problems.

One of the reasons why an awareness class leads to higher performance is that it gives a stronger context for one’s behaviors, thoughts and actions that leads to higher forms of confidence. That confidence can make its way into future ways of thinking and performance. Confidence and high performance can be an unbeatable combination.

The idea of a class for gifted and high-performance individuals may have positive benefits for the students, colleges, and their countries. It makes one wonder that if students were selected based on performance and creativity and then offered a class about leadership, self-awareness, etc…that heavily loaded with these ideas, would it have an impact throughout their lives? In an online university, it may be possible to have a class that focused on the universal traits of high-performance individuals.

Overzier, P. Nauta, N. (2014). Coping with qualities of giftedness. Gifted & Talented International, 29 (1/2)

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