bored child in schoolIf you are human, you’ve been bored. No one has to explain to you what being bored feels like. But we may have to explain to some people what it’s like for gifted kids to sit in classrooms where they aren’t challenged: they’re bored.  It’s easy for people to say that we’re all bored at times and we need to deal with it, including the kids. Okay, that’s true.  But only to a degree. No one should be bored all the time and learning certainly shouldn’t be boring.

It’s really all about the dopamine. Dopamine is a neural transmitter produced when something good happens. Boredom is not one of those good things. When children are bored in school, they are not going to feel any pleasure because no dopamine is being produced. So what does produce dopamine? Achievable challenge for one, work that is within what psychologist Lev Vygotsky calls the “zone of proximal development.”

Work that is within the zone of proximal development is work that is neither too hard nor too easy. Work that is too hard is not satisfying; it’s frustrating. Work that is too easy is simply boring and tedious. Neither of those conditions will lead to the release of dopamine in the brain.

It should be obvious why children don’t want to work on problems that are too difficult for them. There is no gratification that comes from frustration. In fact, like all of us, children try to avoid feelings of frustration.

However, when we have work that is challenging but not too difficult for  us to complete, we will experience pleasure because dopamine is released.  It is released when we solve a challenging problem.  The desire to experience pleasure is what keeps us motivated to persevere until we meet the challenge.

Gifted children who sit in a classroom that provides no challenge for them are not motivated to achieve. They will find other ways to produce those feelings of pleasure. They may daydream.. They may become the class clown. Or they may try to escape the feelings of frustration by acting out.

Gifted children don’t need to learn to cope with boredom. They need to be challenged and science explains why. Boredom is literally a brain turn off.

http://giftsforlearning.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Bored-child-20198975_s.jpghttp://giftsforlearning.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Bored-child-20198975_s-150x150.jpgCarol BainbridgeEducationProblems at School,Underachievement
If you are human, you've been bored. No one has to explain to you what being bored feels like. But we may have to explain to some people what it's like for gifted kids to sit in classrooms where they aren't challenged: they're bored.  It's easy for people to...