Academic journal article Journal of Secondary Gifted Education

Guided Viewing of Film: A Strategy for Counseling Gifted Teenagers

Academic journal article Journal of Secondary Gifted Education

Guided Viewing of Film: A Strategy for Counseling Gifted Teenagers

Article excerpt


Counselors and teachers of gifted students seek strategies appropriate for addressing important social and emotional issues affecting the lives of the young people with whom they work. The authors propose guided viewing of film as a counseling strategy through which middle and high school counselors and educators may assist gifted students in gaining helpful insights to deal with the problems they face. This article presents a theoretical foundation for this approach, a variety of strategies for implementation, and three sample plans for guided viewing sessions.

The big day is next week, Hailey. How are you feeling about it? Are you any closer to a decision?" Ms. Whitmore asked the high school senior. This time of year was always stressful for guidance counselors; the wait for college acceptance letters and scholarship packages was over, but the long hours helping to guide the decision-making process were just beginning to peak. Ms. Whitmore had invested an enormous amount of attention and energy in this particular student. With her SAT scores and long list of academic achievements, Hailey was easily the most intellectually gifted and motivated senior that had passed through Walton High School in years. Hailey had applied to the best premedical programs across the country and had been accepted with scholarships to all of them. Now it was just a matter of deciding which one was the best fit for her personally. Or so Ms. Whitmore thought. She began to feel concerned as she watched Hailey fidget uncomfortably, not answering her questions.

"Hailey? Is there something more going on than I should know about?" Ms. Whitmore asked softly, leaning forward.

"Eric received rejection letters from both Stanford and Duke," Hailey answered softly, playing with the promise ring on her finger. She and Eric had been dating for three years now and had planned on attending college together. Eric, too, dreamed of becoming a physician, but his college applications were not as strong as Hailey's. She received her acceptance letters first, and initially he had been excited for her. But, when his rejection letters followed, his disappointment and frustration were eminent, and the subject had become a sore spot between them. They had both applied to the local state university as a fall back and were accepted. Hailey didn't know how to explain to Ms. Whitmore that the issue troubling her was not the choice between Stanford or Duke, but the decision of whether or not to attend either if it meant leaving Eric behind.

But, Hailey did not have to explain. Ms. Whitmore understood perfectly, for she had seen many gifted young women before Hailey struggle with the same issue. She reached in her desk, took out a piece of paper, and wrote The Competition on it. She handed it to Hailey. "I want you to rent this video this weekend and share your thoughts with me. I think you will find it interesting in light of what you are experiencing right now."

Hailey smiled, taking the piece of paper. "Thanks, Ms. Whitmore. I will watch it and meet with you on Monday."

Mr. Ross looked up from his cluttered desk as Darius knocked on his office door. The guidance counselor was pleased to see one of his strongest junior advisees. He motioned for the young man to sit down, but Darius declined, claiming he needed to run to his next class and simply wanted a quick signature.

"Mr. Ross, I want to drop AP chemistry and switch to the regular class," Darius announced, handing him the add/drop form.

Mr. Ross looked surprised. "But, Darius, why? When we arranged your schedule last spring, you were excited about this course since you knew how impressive it would look on your transcript."

"I hear you Mr. Ross, but it's just way too hard. After two weeks of that teacher's assignments, I'm swamped! I just don't think I can handle it."

Mr. Ross argued, "Darius, you're one of the top students in your class. …

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