Doing Poorly on Purpose

After nearly 20 years of advocating for appropriate educational experiences for gifted children, I am often frustrated at the lack of progress in the field of gifted advocacy. Along the way, I have met many experts; but, few have impressed me more than Dr. Jim Delisle. When you are in his presence whether in private conversation or in the audience when he is speaking, you are struck by his genuine kindness coupled with superior intellect.

If you have a ‘designated underachiever’ in your life as a child, a student or a friend, someone you suspect is Doing Poorly on Purpose, I highly recommend this book from Jim Delisle. It offers strategies to Reverse Underachievement and Respect Student Dignity; the key sentiment being ‘dignity’. Unlike most other professionals, Dr. Delisle does not shame or blame the student. This is a salient point that should not be overlooked or minimized.  His approach to underachievement is in stark contrast to everything you may have previously read or heard on the topic.

It is also important to note that Doing Poorly on Purpose is being published simultaneously by ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) and Free Spirit Publishing. This speaks to the fact that the intended audience goes well beyond the gifted community. That makes it an excellent choice for parents to share with their child's teachers and administrators. Chapter 8: Approachable Educators could make a world of difference in the life of an underachiever. Also, the ASCD has released a Study Guide to accompany the book. 

On my personal journey to learn how to overcome what I thought was underachievement of students I worked with in school, I poured over relevant articles, read books and attended conferences in hopes of finding an answer; one that did not assume laziness or the lack of motivation. These stereotypes did not match with what I was witnessing every day in the classroom.

Underachievement is a red flag that something is seriously wrong with how we are educating students; especially in the 21st century. As a society, we reap what we sow and writing off the so-called underachiever may be a prelude to more perilous times.

It is time to put aside preconceived notions about why students underachieve. Every educator and every parent knows the stakes are high and potential losses unmeasurable. Jim Delisle offers practical, common sense strategies that will reverse underachievement in your classroom and in the life of your child. The insights shared in this book are invaluable to parents, teachers and the student; insights gleaned from over 30 years of experience in the field of education.


Doing Poorly on Purpose (Book Excerpt) 

Doing Poorly on Purpose: Why Smart Kids Choose Not to do Well in School by Jim Delisle

If I'm So Smart, Why Aren't the Answers Easy? by Robert Schultz and James Delisle

Perfectionism: A Practical Guide to Managing "Never Good Enough" by Lisa Van Gemert

The Gifted Teen Survival Guide by Judy Galbraith and James Delisle 

The Power of Self Advocacy for Gifted Learners by Deb Douglas

When Gifted Kids Don't Have All the Answers by Judy Galbraith and James Delisle 

Disclaimer: I did receive a review copy of this book. However, this post contains no affiliate links. ~ ljc