Geeks, jocks and shocks: Student perceptions of high-achieving classmates

November 12, 2013

Imagine a new student is to join your class. The only thing you know about them is that they were the best in their previous class for the following subject…

Over 100 secondary school students were asked what they thought a hypothetical new student would be like if they excelled in different subjects at school.

The results of this new research, published in High Ability Studies, suggest that of high-achieving classmates are subject specific. High academic achievements in particular school subjects lead to negative reactions in the whereas high achievements in other school subjects result in positive ones. For example, high-achieving peers in the sciences and mathematics were considered more intelligent, more conscientious and less socially-minded than high-achieving peers in languages or sports subjects.

Such perceptions are important because of the central role that peer groups play in the formation of students' subject-specific interests. Schooling occurs in social contexts and gifted regularly report experiencing trouble among their peers for excelling academically.

Explore further: Recognizing children's successes in all areas may prevent teenage depression

More information: Marion Händel, Wilma Vialle & Albert Ziegler, Student perceptions of high-achieving classmates, High Ability Studies Volume 24, Issue 2, 2013, DOI: 10.1080/13598139.2013.843139

Related Stories

Student engagement more complex, changeable than thought

June 20, 2013

A student who shows up on time for school and listens respectfully in class might appear fully engaged to outside observers, including teachers. But other measures of student engagement, including the student's emotional ...

Recommended for you

The couple who Facebooks together, stays together

July 27, 2015

Becoming "Facebook official" is a milestone in modern romance, and new research suggests that activities on the popular social networking site are connected to whether those relationships last.

Oldest known Koran text fragments discovered

July 23, 2015

Two pages of text written on parchment that are believed to be sections of the Koran (Chapters 18 and 20) have been discovered by a PhD student in a British university library and are believed to be the oldest ever found. ...

First evidence of farming in Mideast

July 22, 2015

Until now, researchers believed farming was "invented" some 12,000 years ago in the Cradle of Civilization—Iraq, the Levant, parts of Turkey and Iran—an area that was home to some of the earliest known human civilizations. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.