An Academic Approach to Wellbeing



Sandra N. Kaplan

Professor of Clinical Education at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education
United States of America




While the concept of wellbeing often is associated with social and emotional characteristics and behaviors, academic wellbeing introduces  another perspective to define and practice wellbeing as a gifted individual.


Academic wellbeing requires gifted individuals to develop the “art of appreciation” for the abilities and works of self and others.  The art of appreciation is the willingness to examine the processes as well as the products that emerge from production.


Academic wellbeing is the ability for gifted students to assume multiple roles: learner, leader, model, advocate and coach.  Importantly, academic wellbeing also demands the flexibility of knowing when and how to assume different roles relative to the context.  Understanding how roles change and are valued in different situations is an essential to academic wellbeing for gifted students.


Academic wellbeing is dependent on the understanding and allocation of  how and when  to use time.  Considering how to determine the differences and implications between “time to” and “time for”  underscores the distribution of intellectual productivity and satisfaction. Academic wellbeing relates to both the internal and external variables of allocating and utilizing time for gifted students.


Academic wellbeing can require the  gifted student’s abilities to distinguish between the similarities and  differences among the assessments attained from self and others with reference to the same outcome.   Critical to academic wellbeing is the gifted student’s need to develop an understanding of the objective versus subjective qualities in each assessment.


Academic wellbeing for gifted students requires acquiring and adhering to a clear understanding of the qualities of what does and does not define giftedness for all students and specifically, defines giftedness for the individual  gifted student.


About Sandra N. Kaplan

Dr Sandra Kaplan is Professor of Clinical Education at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education. She is a consultant for several state departments and school districts in the USA on the topics of education for gifted students, differentiated curriculum in depth and complexity, and thematic interdisciplinarity. During her accomplished career, she has published more than a dozen books on teaching gifted children, consulted for numerous special projects, and provided teaching training to incorporate gifted education into classrooms internationally. In 2012, Sandra’s contributions to gifted education were recognised with the National Association for Gifted Children’s Legacy Award.



Posted as part of the 2020 New Zealand Gifted Awareness Blog Tour, run by the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education.

The views and opinions expressed in the Gifted Awareness Week Blog Tour are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of NZCGE, their staff, and/or any/all contributors to Gifted Awareness Week.


An Academic Approach to Wellbeing

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