Title: To produce or not to produce: Understanding boredom and the honor in underachievement
Author: Lannie Kanevsky and Tacey Keighley
Author's purpose for writing: to explain the reasons why some GT students deliberately refuse to work
Methodology: three case studies of high school students who gradually disengaged from classroom studies
Core findings: learning is the opposite of boredom
Learning is the antidote to boredom
Five interdependent features distinguish boring from learning experiences (the 5 Cs)
If the some or all of the 5 Cs are present, students are engaged; if they are not present, students are not engaged. The more Cs that are present, the better.
Students in this study felt that the honorable action in response to an inappropriate curriculum was to disengage and to quit producing.
To re-engage these kinds of students will require understanding the causes of boredom, and offer differentiated curricula rich in the 5 Cs.
Non-producers differ from underachievers. Non-producers have chosen not to do the work because they see it as boring or irrelevant. This is not a problem with self-esteem or dependency, they just see the work as boring and/or irrelevant. They are bored due to a lack of stimulation and challenge in classes.
Lack of challenge is the most frequently cited cause of boredom. Gifted students crave the unfamiliar.
A caring teacher can enhance or overcome lack of the other 4 Cs. Caring teachers are defined as nonjudgmental, fair, flexible. Caring teachers honor students' need to talk, question, challenge, dig deeper; they must respect students, use discovery, hands-on, inquiry-based lessons, varying techniques and media. Caring teachers give students control over some aspects of learning, they show concern for all students' well-being, they return work promptly, and they are enthusiastic about their content and teaching.