The Impact of Popular Culture on Gifted Children

gtchat 08222017 Popular Culture

It’s no secret to the gifted community that popular culture perpetuates stereotypes about gifted children.  They are viewed  as socially inept and geniuses  with little or no consideration of reality. Furthermore, it’s common for popular culture to pit various segments of the population against each other; athletes, artists, academics.

Negative portrayals of gifted children in the media can have a profound impact on a child’s self-concept. Gifted kids often feel they can’t live up to society’s expectations; that all children identified as gifted are intellectually flawless. This can also lead to them bullying in school when they do display academic achievement or talent.

The media’s influence in a child’s life is well recognized and there needs to be a sense of responsibility on its part. Recently, Hollywood and television have been doing a better job, but needs to understand the risks of undermining intellectual ability.

Teachers and school counselors need to be aware of the social-emotional needs of gifted children (Colangelo 2003). School personnel should be understanding of exceptional developmental issues and appropriate approaches to address needs.

Parents should consider asynchronous development, emotional sensitivity, and perfectionism as related to popular culture. They need to be alert to the possibility that their child may attempt to camouflage abilities to ‘fit in’ with age-peers. Parents should learn the signs of underachievement and seek professional help if deemed necessary.

To see what chat participants felt were the best and worst representations of gifted children in the media, check out the transcript of the chat at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:



How Pop Culture Stereotypes Impact Self-Concept of Highly Gifted People

The Mad Genius Stereotype: Still Alive and Well

The Gifted Teen Survival Guide: Smart, Sharp & Ready for (Almost) Anything (Amazon)

Casting Minority Gifted Students: The Pedagogical Impact of Cinema on the Culture of Schooling

When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers: How to Meet Their Social & Emotional Needs (Amazon)

Giftedness in the Media

Hoagies’ Blog Hop: Gifted in Pop Culture

UK: Possible Effects of Social Media on GT Children’s Intelligence & Emotional Development (pdf)

AUS: Pink or Paris? Giftedness in Popular Culture (pdf)

Using Movies to Guide Teachers & Counselors to Collaborating to Support Gifted Students (pdf)

Amadeus to Young Einstein: Modern Cinema & Its Portrayal of Gifted Learners (pdf)

The Pursuit of Excellence or Search for Intimacy? The Forced-Choice Dilemma of Gifted Youth (pdf)

Indecent Exposure: Does the Media Exploit Highly Gifted Children? (pdf p.28) Gifted Education Communicator

A Portrayal of the Gifted in Magazines: An Initial Analysis (pdf ’96)

How Stereotypes Affect Gifted Children

Portrayal of Gifted Children in Children’s Chapter Books (pdf)

Nerds & Geeks: Society’s Evolving Stereotypes of Our Students with Gifts & Talents (pdf)

Sprite’s Site: Googlebox

Profiling the Gifted in Popular Culture

Everything I Needed to Know about Being a Smart Kid, I Learned from 80’s Movies

Gifted in Pop Culture: Role Models Required

Gifted Characters in Korean & Japanese Dramas

Giftedness Magnified

An Examination of Coercive Egalitarianism: Peer, Institutional & Cultural Sanctions, Against the Achieving Gifted Child (pdf ’92)

Accepting Scholarly Identity Gifted Students, Academic Crowd Membership & Identification with School (pdf)

AUS: Gifted Students’ Perceptions of the Characteristics of Effective Teachers (pdf)

The ‘G’ Word Film from Marc Smolowitz: Meet the Experts | Who Gets to be Gifted in America and Why? (Vimeo 12”14)

Are All Children Gifted?

Gifted: Who Ever Decided to Call These Gifts?

Sprite’s Site: Acknowledging Diversity: Gifted is not a Homogenous Group

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Posted on August 29, 2017, in Education, gifted and talented, parenting, Psychology, Social Emotional, Social Media, Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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