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Tue, Apr 25


Online Webinar

SENGinar: Code Switching and Gifted Students

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SENGinar: Code Switching and Gifted Students
SENGinar: Code Switching and Gifted Students

Time & Location

Apr 25, 2023, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Online Webinar

About The Event


To stand out, blend in, or disidentify with others: the age-old dilemma of gifted students.

How do many gifted students create safe spaces wherein they feel accepted by other groups of people? According to Tannenbaum (1984), “Some would rather underachieve and be popular than achieve honor status and receive ostracism.” What methods, procedures and approaches do gifted students use to attempt to reach their social goals? This idea has been called the Stigma of Giftedness Paradigm (Coleman, 1984), and has been continuously studied for 40 years and in multiple countries. See Coleman & Cross, 1988, Cross, Coleman & Terrhar-Yonkers, 1991; Cross, Stewart & Colman, 1994). This presentation will connect these studies with the topic of Code Switching and Gifted Students.

Historically, “code switching” is a label that has been given to the strategy of alternating between two linguistic codes (Gross, 2001). Over time, the concept has been broadened to encompass a variety of behaviors beyond speech patterns, such as language and physical appearance even suppressing multiple aspects of one’s own identity based on the perceived requirements of the setting. Gifted students learn that they can manage the information others have about them, and in doing so, gain a greater degree of acceptance than they would have if they were known as gifted. Code Switching has not been applied to the behavior of gifted students until now, and it can provide some additional understanding of the lived experience of gifted students and the ways many of them approach adapting to their social environments.

About the Presenter:

Tracy L. Cross, Ph.D., holds an endowed chair, Jody and Layton Smith Professor of Psychology and Gifted Education, and is the executive director of the Center for Gifted Education and the Institute for Research on the Suicide of Gifted Students at William & Mary. He has published more than 300 articles, book chapters, and columns; made more than 400 presentations at conferences; and published 14 books. He received the Early Leader, Early Scholar, and Distinguished Scholar Awards from National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). In 2022 he was named a Legacy in the field of gifted education by NAGC. Also, the MENSA Education and Research Foundation give him its Lifetime Achievement Award. He has edited eight academic journals, including SENGJ: Exploring the Psychology of Giftedness. He is president emeritus of TAG and NAGC.

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