News/research from teacher-journalist Robert J. Ballantyne

Sal Mendaglio on giftedness as a double-edged sword

In essence, gifted individuals, because of their giftedness, not through choice, critically evaluate virtually everything and everyone they encounter. Analytical attitude, like giftedness in general, is double-edged. It may have positive and negative outcomes. For example, this trait is very useful in problem-solving tasks. However, it also predisposes gifted individuals to conflict with society. Society demands compliance and conformity from individuals. Agents of society, such as parents and teachers, typically expect compliance from their children and students… Academic achievement may be negatively affected because it rests on conformity not questioning or challenging authority.

Sal Mendaglio


Mendaglio, S. (2013). Gifted students’ transition to university. Gifted Education International, 29(1), 3–12.

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