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Addressing the Needs of

the Gifted Female

Raise our expectations above
societal expectations
allow them to find their voice
encourage them to recognize
their gifts and develop selfconfidence
Encourage them to explore the
things they are strong in or
love, even if its not cool
It is okay not to be perfect
Get to know students and
emphasize personal growth
Help students to change their
mindset and set high-achieving

Blakeley, S. (2001). The Emotional
Journey of the Gifted and Talented
Adolescent Female. The National

Research Center on the Gifted and

Talented, Spring 2001.
Langille, J. (2003). Gifted Girls and
Gender Issues. Association for

Bright Children of Ohio. ABC New

Magazine Fall 2003.
Reis, S. M. (1998). Social and

Emotional Issues Faced by Gifted

Girls in Elementary and Secondary
School. Retrieved from:
Smutny, J.F. (1999). Gifted Girls:
Davison Institute. Understanding
Our Gifted. Open Space

Communication. Vol.11, No.2 pp. 9-13.

The Gifted
Created by:
Becky Gonzales
Denise Orr

General Description of the Gifted


Meet Magdalena
Magdalena had mathematical talent. Her
mother remembered how quickly she
computed the prices in the grocery
store and how she enjoyed calculating
what they would save if they bought the
cheaper brands. Magdalena was a Latina
who attended a school where the other
Latina girls, her best friends, did not
share her academic interests or drive.
But Magdalena continually resisted
placement in groups with students who
shared her intellectual needs and who
performed at her level; over time, she
was becoming an average student. []
sometimes individual acts can influence a
person's self-perception and approach,
and so it was also with Magdalena. Her
teacher gave the class a math problem,
allowing students to work with friends.
Magdalena quickly grouped together with
her two best girlfriends, both of whom
were very weak in math. Throughout the
exercise, she enjoyed helping them
understand the concepts, and, in the
process of answering her friends'
questions, they discovered a new
approach to the problem. Because her
friends benefited from Magdalena's
talents and felt affirmed by their joint
success, she felt renewed
encouragement to express her academic
Recognizing this small spark, the teacher
looked for such opportunities and
incorporated more elective groupings in
her lessons.

Know they are different and often times

feel strange because of their giftedness
and talent
Often shy to hide their talents; loneliness
can be a resulting factor
Can down-play their talents and hide their
gifts in an effort to fit in
Answers questions wrong on purpose, to
avoid peer jealousy and bullying
Can take on different personalities to
disguise their own, and be more in-line with
main-stream students

Untraditional characteristics
There still remains an expectation in society
today that girls and women stay in a
supporting and empathetic role. As a result,
many females are not as encouraged in the
areas of math and different sciences. This
in turn can cause negative feelings about
self-worth and eventually lead to them no
longer enjoying school. Gifted females may
also have high levels of sensitivity, intensity,
and perfectionism that many times cause
problems in personal relationships. Often
times, gifted females have a much higher
interest and understanding of topics; this
can cause them to stand out from their
peers and been seen as nerdy or even

Special Needs of the Gifted Female

Need for Mentoring
Gifted girls need an ongoing support system that is
specifically tailored to her needs (adults to listen and offer
reassurance). They have abilities and a drive to want to
learn and explore, so they are in need of mentors who will
encourage their journey.
Need To Be More Aggressive
Gifted females have a fear of taking risks. Often times, they
are discouraged for inquisitive or outside-of-the-box thinking
because it is seen as unfeminine or disrespectful. They need
to understand that its okay to develop a voice and show
their intelligence.
Need to Develop Resiliency
Gifted girls need the ability to persevere when faced with
physical, emotional or social obstacles. Gifted females need
to learn that its okay to hit speed bumps along the way;
they need to be encouraged to continue on their way to
meet their end-goal.
Need to Have a Sense of Autonomy
Gifted females need to develop a sense of self-awareness
and become more of a self-directed learner. Some
examples might be: set learning goals, manage time wisely,
efficiently plan and prepare for papers and exams, and
reflect on and improve skills as needed.
Gifted girls need educational practices that support the
development of self-efficacy, which will enable them to
exude confidence to control their own motivation, behavior
and social environment.