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2017 WCGTC Biennial World Conference

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4.3.6 Global perspectives on the Tall Poppy Syndrome

Dating to ancient Rome and persisting through the centuries, the “Tall Poppy Syndrome” occurs when persons of elevated rank encounter aggression from peers with resentful attitudes toward their high status. In a “zero-sum game,” the rising of one person must achieve a balance by causing another to fall. Similarly, gifted children may experience an “underdog” status when less capable peers resent or envy their giftedness and talents. This session addresses affective needs, survival strategies, and proactive advocacy related to the Tall Poppy Syndrome through global perspectives gained by grown up gifted children, their parents, and seasoned educators of the gifted.


Connie Phelps
Emporia State University
United States

Connie Phelps is Professor and Director of Gifted Education at Emporia State University where she trains gifted facilitators in grades K-12 to meet state and national standards. She directs the Great Plains Center for Gifted Studies and co-edits the Emporia State Research Studies. She serves as Past Chair of the Professional Development Network in NAGC and was an alternate delegate to WCGTC. She leads state and national accreditation reviews; presents at state, national and international conferences; serves on the Future Problem Solving Program International Board of Advisors and coordinates the Inventions component of the International Torrance Creativity Legacy Award.

Bailey Carter
Emporia State University
United States

Bailey Carter plans to pursue graduate studies in Drama Therapy after graduating from Emporia State University with a BA in Theater and minor in psychology. She wrote a script based on a William Allen White Book Award selection, co-stared in a university theater production of 39 Steps and actively participated in the university theater Costume Shop and Zoiks Improv Comedy Troupe. A grown up gifted child, Bailey served as President of the Gifted Club at Topeka West High School and enjoys delving deeply into the many topics that interest her.

Abby Phelps*
Emporia State University
United States

Abby Phelps is a graduate student in Library Information and Management at Emporia State University, and she works as a library clerk at Riverside Elementary School in Emporia, Kansas. She received her BA in Theatre Arts and English Literature from Hastings College. A grown up gifted child, she received gifted services from third through twelfth grades. She worked as an au pair in Paris, France, and she enjoys reading classics, discussing films and traveling internationally.


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