Gifted students report feeling bored in class - study

Talented students describe ‘stigma’ of doing well in school, study finds

A study of gifted students found nearly all pupils reported feeling bored in school, while more than three in 10 described having to try hide their abilities from friends due to a “stigma” of doing well in school.

The surveys of more than 2,600 secondary school students who attended the Centre for Talented Youth Ireland (CTYI) found female students reported feeling more pressure to do well than their male counterparts.

The study of students who attended CTYI classes in Dublin City University said nearly all of those who took part felt they were not able to delve into subjects in enough detail in school.

One in five students said they did not believe they could stand up for themselves, and several described a “stigma” that came from excelling in school.

Many students told researchers they tried to conform to other students’ behaviour and attempted to hide their talents to better fit in. Some students said they were “rejected” by other pupils, the study found.

Ten different surveys were undertaken for the study over a 10-year period from 2012 to 2021. In one survey in 2019 the study said nearly all students “described being bored, having poor teachers or an unstimulating curriculum” in class.

The research, published on Monday, was conducted by Prof Tracy Cross and Dr Jennifer Cross.

Dr Colm O’Reilly, director of CTYI, said the study showed gifted students needed more help from teachers to reach their full potential. “Nearly all of the students report feeling bored at school and not being able to go into enough depth in the subjects they like,” he said.

“This important report adds greatly to our understanding of gifted children in Ireland who are a greatly under-researched group. These students need interventions at school to allow them to reach their potential academically and socially,” he said.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times