Troubled Student Action Plan

Skywalker, Luke

Learner Profile

Luke is a promising but troubled student who has recently lost his parental figures (his adoptive aunt and uncle). The pursuit to replace these figures with possibilities of who his father could be is distracting him from his studies.

  • Academic abilities: With careful tutelage, Luke is clearly a candidate for the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program. Any issues he has had with the curriculum seem to stem from the curriculum not being sufficiently advanced so as to avoid distractions.
  • Cognitive Function: Luke is clearly an advanced mind. Once presented with a lesson he can essentially perform it blind-folded. This intuition appears to be an aspect of his culture which encourages study, both self and academic, which has increased his focus. The only drawback is the emotionally stunting aspect which has led to more than one repressed emotional outburst.
  • Socioeconomic background: Luke's agrarian upbringing offers helpful analogies to lessons, increasing comprehension.

Working Environment

Though Luke is nearing the end of his academic years, there still exists opportunity for life-altering changes to be made. Social Studies, particularly in later grades, adds context and history to complex moral decisions that can assist its students in not repeating mistakes of the past (Ray, Faure, & Kelle, 2013). With parental figures absent or deceased, Luke will require a teacher willing to fill the role of mentor, with strong Inter- and Intrapersonal skills to understand his unique background and guide his progress through his remaining school years.

Plan of Action

In order to maximize the impact and hold interest, a varied approach will be needed. Luke's predilection toward "patterns of wide space and more confined areas" (Hall, Quinn, & Gollnick, 2014, ch. 3.3) indicates an affinity in Spatial intelligence. This is a difficult strength to play to as it does not typically lend itself well to Social Studies or much else in the classroom environment. As such it would serve a teacher well to use a problem-solving approach: a lesson-applicable puzzle, i.e. a map that lists alliances made based on geographic proximity, that requires the student to earn each piece through participation. Since the question of his past is so present in his mind, this approach could be uniquely suited to his interests while rewarding class effort. Discovery Education offers a variety of puzzle-making programs that could assist in reaching this goal (2015).

Additionally, forming a cooperative learning group could prove to mitigate the isolating effects inherent in having an advanced aptitude and a troubled upbringing. Close-knit groups not only add a social aspect to the lesson but also foster a collaborative approach that must be instilled as it is not a person's default approach (Hall, Quinn, & Gollnick, 2014).

If technology is available, Social Impact Games "have the potential to hone critical thinking, collaboration, and problem solving skills that enhance knowledge retention as well as foster... empathy" (Ray, Faure, & Kelle, 2013). With proper implementation, this could be just the tool Luke needs to keep him from going over to the dark side.


Discovery Education. (2015). Puzzlemaker. Retrieved 13 December, 2015 from

Hall, G.E., Quinn, L.F., & Gollnick, D.M. (2014). Introduction to teaching: Making a difference in student learning. Los Angeles: Sage Publishing.

Ray, B., Faure, C., & Kelle, F. (2013). Using Social Impact Games (SIGS) to Support Constructivist Learning: Creating a Foundation for Effective Use in the Secondary Social Studies Education. American Secondary Education, 41(2), 60-70.