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 dark side of Nobel prizewinning research

October 4, 2015

Think of the Nobel prizes and you think of groundbreaking research bettering mankind, but the awards have also honoured some quite unhumanitarian inventions such as chemical weapons, DDT and lobotomies.

How much for that Nobel prize in the window?

October 3, 2015

No need to make peace in the Middle East, resolve one of science's great mysteries or pen a masterpiece: the easiest way to get yourself a Nobel prize may be to buy one.

Search for Egypt's Nefertiti gains new momentum (Update)

September 29, 2015

The search for ancient Egypt's Queen Nefertiti in an alleged hidden chamber in King Tut's tomb gained new momentum as Egypt's Antiquities Minister said Tuesday he is now more convinced a queen's tomb may lay hidden behind ...


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.