Gifted children, and especially creatively gifted children act in ways that put them outside educational norms. They are greatly stimulated by what interests them and greatly distressed by what offends their sense of fairness. Because they can be so greatly stimulated, and because they perceive and process things differently, they are often misunderstood. Their excitement is viewed as excessive, their high energy as hyperactivity, their persistence as nagging, their questioning as undermining authority, their imagination as not paying attention, their passion as being disruptive, their strong emotions and sensitivity as immaturity, their creativity and self-direction as being oppositional. Underlying all this is the constitutional factor of overexcitability, first described by Kazimierz Dabrowski in1938. In this session the five facets of overexcitability will be illustrated.
Michael M. Piechowski, Ph.D., received his M.Sc. from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, his hometown in Poland. He collaborated with Dabrowski for eight years on the positive desintegration theory, living with intensity and overexcitabilities. Piechowski taught at the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, and Northland College. He is a Senior Fellow of both the Institute for Educational Advancement and Yunasa Summer Camp for Highly Gifted Youth.