Metacognition and Social Development

Metacognition is the process by which we monitor and control (self-regulation) our own cognitive process. It can be explicit (slow and deliberative) or implicit (rapid, automatic and without awareness). A1Metacognition involves thinking about thinking; self-awareness; building an understanding of self in the context of one’s environment; mentalizing (considering mental states of others). Understanding one’s own behavior can benefit from the assessment of our behavior by others. Metacognition affects willpower, assigning blame, regret for one’s actions, agency, free will, and decision making.

Metacognition’s main function is to enhance social interaction when we communicate our thoughts to others. (Firth, 2012) Social metacognition includes one’s beliefs about others’ mental processes in light of situational norms and cultural expectations. It allows us to consider and discuss aspects of our perceptual and decision-making processes with others; thus improving our own decisions.

Should ‘intellectual character’ be an aim of education? Intellectual character involves curiosity, attentiveness, intellectual humility, open-mindedness, tenacity, and courage. When intellectual character is a main focus in education, healthy social and emotional development becomes a key element in student achievement and success. Teaching intellectual character can greatly enhance effective thinking. It can teach students to value knowledge over close-mindedness. It can also help them to decipher truth from opinion.

Why should a gifted/2E student be taught metacognition? Teaching metacognition can help students create a positive self-identity, develop social skills, learn emotional regulation, develop vocabulary to express deep thoughts and emotions, and learn executive functioning skills. Metacognition plays a strong role in collaboration; working well with others. Gifted students often struggle with participating in group work and the expectations of others regarding their behavior in these settings. Understanding metacognition can help gifted/2E students to better understand themselves; how neurodiversity can be seen as a strength; and to see intensities, not as pathological, but a manageable part of who they are.

Strategies which can be used to teach metacognition include bibliotherapy, mentoring, teaching resiliency, reframing what is ‘normal’, and cultivating student strengths and interests. (Postma) Employing a regulation checklist can be useful in teaching metacognition. A checklist can improve cognitive regulation and individual student performance. Classroom strategies which can be used to teach metacognition may include creating mnemonic devices to enhance memory, teaching word analysis and listening skills, and active reading strategies.

Metacognition is a blank slate at birth that is written on by social interactions; such as, talking to others, listening to stories and looking at pictures. Parents have significant influence in these initial interactions. Children begin to reflect on the relationship between action and knowledge at about age 4. Introspection influences behavior and parents can provide opportunities for them to gain requisite knowledge to enable good decisions regarding behavior.

A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10AM AEST/1AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Modeling Structural Relationships of Metacognitive States with Tendency to Virtual Networks through Mediating of Social Adjustment in Gifted Students | Avicenna Journal of Neuro Psycho Physiology   

Clarifying the Connections among Giftedness, Metacognition, Self-Regulation, and Self-Regulated Learning: Implications for Theory and Practice | Gifted Child Quarterly

Development of Metacognitive Concepts about Thinking in Gifted and Nongifted Children: Recent Research (Abstract) | Learning and Individual Differences Vol. 8 Issue 4

A Metacognitive Portrait of Gifted Learners | International Handbook on Giftedness

Building Metacognition in Gifted Students for Future Success | GHF Dialogue

Cognitive Characteristics of the Gifted: Reconceptualized in the Context of Inquiry Learning and Teaching | Critical Issues and Practices in Gifted Education

Smart People or Smart Contexts? Cognition, Ability, and Talent Development in an Age of Situated Approaches to Knowing and Learning | Educational Psychologist

Developmental and Cognitive Characteristics of “High-Level Potentialities” (Highly Gifted) Children | International Journal of Pediatrics

Competitive Goal Orientations, Quality, and Stability in Gifted and Other Adolescents’ Friendships A Test of Sullivan’s Theory About the Harm Caused by Rivalry | Gifted Child Quarterly

Metacognition and Flexibility: Qualitative Differences in How Gifted Children Think | Talents Unfolding: Cognition and Development

Metacognitive Awareness Scale, Domain Specific (MCAS-DS): Assessing Metacognitive Awareness during Raven’s Progressive Matrices | Frontiers in Psychology

Meta-Reasoning: Monitoring and Control of Thinking and Reasoning | Trends in Cognitive Sciences

The Relation between Student’s Effort and Monitoring Judgments during Learning: A Meta-analysis | Educational Psychology Review

Metacognitive Experience on Raven’s Matrices Versus Insight Problems | Metacognition and Learning

Links between Intellectual Humility and Acquiring Knowledge | The Journal of Positive Psychology

Educating for Intellectual Virtues (pdf)

Finding Middle Ground between Intellectual Arrogance and Intellectual Servility: Development and Assessment of the Limitations-owning Intellectual Humility Scale (pdf) | Personality and Individual Differences

Human Metacognition across Domains: Insights from Individual Differences and Neuroimaging | Personality Neuroscience

The Influence of Metacognitive Skills on Learners’ Memory of Information in a Hypermedia Environment | Journal of Educational Computing Journal

The Role of Metacognition in Human Social Interactions | U.S. National Institutes of Health

Social Metacognition: Using Social Emotional Learning to Defeat Helplessness and Engage Hope

Cybraryman’s The Brain and Brain Games Page

Metacognition: Nurturing Self-Awareness in the Classroom | Edutopia

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

The Neuroscience of Neurodiversity and Insights into Bright Minds

This week at #gtchat, we discussed the science of neurodiversity with Dr. Nicole Tetreault; author of the new book “Insight into a Bright Mind”. Dr. Tetreault is a neuroscientist, writer, meditation teacher, and speaker. She specializes in neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative disorders and translates the promise of neuroscience and positive psychology for individuals to live the best quality of life. She has a BS in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior from UC Davis; a MS in course work in Physiology from UCLA; and a  PhD in Biology from Caltech.

Neurodiversity, a term first coined in 1988, refers to the vast array of mental functions which defines our uniqueness, our individuality as human beings. Cognitive differences define who we are. As a species, neurodiversity is our insurance policy for continued existence. Our environment, both at birth and throughout life, contribute to how our neurodiversity is shaped and nurtured. Understanding and accommodating the unique needs of each child is incumbent on all of us – parents, educators, and society at large.

Neurodiversity is found in 20% of people. Neurodiverse people have distinct neuroanatomy and each human has their own unique brain wiring + processing. Brain research offers insights into the range of human diversity!

Dr. Nicole Tetreault

Neuroscience today is being rewritten with higher populated studies, the use of functional MRIs, and the development of advanced brain-mapping programs. It is providing scientific proof rather than anecdotal messaging that each of us has a distinctive brain signature which is not bound by traditional conceptions of gender, ethnicity, creative genius or extraordinary challenge. Neuroscience is providing a roadmap to influences in brain development … our “genetics, upbringing, experience, environment, epigenetic factors, emotionality, bodily and sensory responsivity, and our autobiographical memories.” (Tetreault, Insight, 2021)

Why is neural plasticity important? Neural plasticity is a matter of wiring in the brain. It is the recognition of the brain’s ability to grow and change throughout our lifetimes. The brain is its own designer. Neuroplasticity is seen as the basis for decision-making, how we process emotions, and the extent of executive functioning; all with respect to life experiences, environment, and individual openness. It is susceptible to both positive (ex., a supportive environment) and negative influences (ex., trauma) which strengthens the argument for providing a rich educational environment for growing bright minds.

Neural plasticity is the processing of building your brain and neural connections. It is known that neurons that fire together wire together. We can create positive neural plasticity through our attention, intention and behaviors.

~ Dr. Nicole Tetreault

Asynchronous brain development in bright minds occurs when there is a disconnect between possessed knowledge and ability as related to chronological age. Asynchronous development in bright children can affect a child’s ability to focus and their productivity. New research in neuroscience should be reflected in how we identify and assess intelligence. Asynchronous development in bright minds can lead to misidentification and lifelong consequences of inappropriate responses based on outdated science and mindsets.

Giftedness exceeds standard tests and academic performance — it is a way of experiencing and perceiving the world with enhanced receptivity, openness and processing. I’ve identified 11 ways a gifted person experiences the world based on neuroanatomy and processing.

Dr. Nicole Tetreault

Giftedness, in light of recent research, should be seen on a spectrum. It can present as a child prodigy, exceptional talent, intense intellectual ability, or twice-exceptional. Words matter and definitions of giftedness need to go beyond education, achievement, and what it means to be successful in life. Rather, giftedness involves exceptional abilities of an individual who interprets and sees the world in unique ways.

Twice-exceptional children who exhibit high intelligence with learning challenges must first be recognized and then supported. Uneven development of different regions of the brain can compromise learning and behavior. 2E kids should be shown compassion; provided with meaningful materials in positive and safe learning environments; have challenges recognized, but strengths accommodated and prioritized.

A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10AM AEST/1AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Insight Into a Bright Mind: A Neuroscientist’s Personal Stories of Unique Thinking (book)

For the Trees Episode 9 Podcast (77 min.): “Nicole Tetreault, Ph. D.: Insight into a Bright Mind”

Conversations with CAGT – Nicole Tetreault March 2021 (YouTube 55:28)

Accessing the Building Blocks for Positive Neural Plasticity

Neuroscience of Asynchronous Development in Bright Minds

Robust Prediction of Individual Creative Ability from Brain Functional Connectivity | National Academy of Sciences

Creatives Unlock Unique Brain Networks

The Human Connectome Project’s Neuroimaging Approach (2016)

The Organization of Behavior: A Neuropsychological Theory 1st Edition (book 1949)

Brain-Based Learning with Gifted Students (Grades 3-6): Lessons from Neuroscience on Cultivating Curiosity, Metacognition, Empathy, and Brain Plasticity (book)

The Gifted Brain Revealed Unraveling the Neuroscience of the Bright Experience

Network Neuroscience Theory of Human Intelligence (2017) | Trends in Cognitive Sciences

Subjective Emotional Well-Being, Emotional Intelligence, and Mood of Gifted vs. Unidentified Students: A Relationship Model (2019) | National Institutes of Health

Human Intelligence and Brain Networks | Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience

Genetic Variation, Brain, and Intelligence Differences (2021) | Molecular Psychiatry

Change in Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence and Student Achievement: The Role of Intellectual Engagement (2017) | Child Development

Neuroscience of Creativity (book) | The MIT Press

Handbook of Giftedness in Children: Psychoeducational Theory, Research, and Best Practices (book)

Emotional Modulation of Cognitive Control in Referred Gifted Male Adolescents: A Pilot Study

Directed Connectivity Analysis of the Brain Network in Mathematically Gifted Adolescents (2020) | Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience

Optimized Gamma Synchronization Enhances Functional Binding of Fronto-parietal Cortices in Mathematically Gifted Adolescents during Deductive Reasoning | Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

Emotional Intelligence in Gifted Students | Gifted Education International

Brain Fingerprints

Cybraryman’s The Brain and Brain Games Page

Cybraryman’s Asynchronous Development Page

Neurodiversity: What You Need to Know

Neurodiversity as a Competitive Advantage

Neurodiversity

Photo courtesy of Nicole Tetreault, Ph.D.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

How Stereotypes Affect GT Students

Where to begin? Stereotypes abound when it comes to discussing GT students. They affect every aspect of the student’s education. They begin with misinformation surrounding the term ‘gifted’ and are perpetuated by indifference. Speak to any gifted education advocate and the idea that ‘all children are gifted’ is perhaps the most egregious. It’s used to argue that gifted = special treatment or the expenditure of inequitable resources. The belief that children labeled as ‘gifted’ have it made in life is equally absurd. The same people expect the child to be responsible to solve the world’s problems without supporting them intellectually or emotionally.

A GT student’s identity and performance can be enhanced or hindered by the stereotypes associated with the gifted label. The label which is often necessary to gain gifted services is steeped in myths that affect both. Asynchronous development can hinder identity formation in GT students and affect age-peer relationships at critical junctures in their development causing them to mask their abilities. This, in turn, affects academic performance. Identity and performance are even more affected by stereotypes for our twice-exceptional populations; especially when adults and professionals fail to explain the nature and effects of their neurodiversity to the child.

Research has shown, in fact, that stereotypes do play a role in teachers’ perceptions of gifted students. Unfortunately, far too often, these perceptions are negative and influence consequential decisions about individual students. In districts where teachers serve as the ‘gatekeeper’ to gifted programs, teacher bias can degrade the entire reason for having such programs and lead to elimination of resources critical to gifted education. A3 Teachers’ perceptions about the very existence of our twice-exceptional population can have even more deleterious effects with long-ranging consequences that follow these students throughout their lives.

Stereotypes can absolutely affect the availability of gifted services; especially when school personnel have limited knowledge about the nature and needs of GT students. The stereotype of elitism can eliminate programs before they start. Schools which identify gifted students solely based on achievement tests or the belief that all GT students are good readers will ultimately fail to provide appropriate services for all students who need accommodations. Failure to realize the individual needs of any particular student can lead to a mismatch in services. This can have dire consequences for students identified for gifted services but only have access to a ‘one size fits all’ program.

It is rare to see gifted individuals portrayed in a positive light in popular media outside of documentaries. Negative stereotypes have always existed in the media, but with the advent of social media; the situation has only gotten worse. Negative stereotypes in the media influence educators, psychology and medical professionals, and employers. This can potentially have lifelong consequences for GT students. A study published this year in Gifted Child Quarterly warns, “Gifted researchers should more actively join in the public debate to counteract stigmatization of intellectually gifted individuals.” (GCQ Vol 65 Issue 1 January, 2021)

How can parents minimize the effects of stereotypes on the GT child? Parent advocacy based on extensive research of the needs of GT children and services available locally can help to minimize the effects of stereotypes. Educating teachers & admins about the nature of these needs is critical. Parents must also take time to understand and listen to their child. A GT student needs to learn what the ‘gifted’ label entails and be a part of all decisions made about their education.

A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10AM AEST/1AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Specky Geeks and Airheads? The Truth behind Intelligence Stereotypes

Stereotypes of Giftedness in Current and Future Educators | Journal for the Education of the Gifted

What ‘Gifted’ Students Wish their Teachers Knew

This Is What’s at Stake in Gifted & Talented Programs

Do Mass Media Shape Stereotypes About Intellectually Gifted Individuals? Two Experiments on Stigmatization Effects from Biased Newspaper Reports (Abstract Only)

Myths and Stereotypes (Colangelo) | ABC Ontario

Myths about Gifted Children | NAGC

Debunking Myths and Stereotypes around Gifted Students

Preservice Teacher Attitudes toward Giftedness (Troxclair) | Roeper Review

Stereotypes Affect Math Competence is Girls, Research Suggests

The Effects of Stereotypes on Gifted Kids

It’s Time to Get Real about Gifted Kids (Gifted children deserve our understanding — not harmful misconceptions)

Seeing the Whole Gifted Child | Counseling Today

To Be Young, Gifted, and Innocent | Educational Leadership

The Confusion and Battles in My Search for Identity | The Grayson School

Elementary Gifted Boys’ Perceptions of Self and School

The Mad Genius Stereotype: Still Alive and Well | Frontiers in Psychology

Amadeus to Young Einstein: Modern Cinema and Its Portrayal of Gifted Learners (pdf) | Gifted Child Today

Pink or Paris? Giftedness in Popular Culture (pdf) | University of Wollongong

Identity Development in Intellectually Gifted Students

Observations on Gifted, The Movie   

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Integrating Inquiry-Based Learning into Your Teaching

Inquiry-based learning is a way for educators to increase student engagement and inspire creativity. When used appropriately, inquiry-based learning will transfer the responsibility for learning from the teacher to the student. Students find inspiration and a desire to answer their own questions. Inquiry-based learning nurtures young minds and creates enthusiasm to learn something new every day. Asking questions is prioritized over giving students the answers. Curiosity becomes the catalyst for learning.

Inquiry-based learning can be a powerful tool for teaching GT students. It can motivate otherwise students who are bored in the general ed classroom. Inquiry-based learning increases student agency and facilitates authentic connections with intellectual peers while building 21st century skills (persistence, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity). GT students experience greater motivation and deeper learning when exposed to inquiry-based learning. It fosters leadership skills and life-long career advantages.

The process of introducing inquiry-based learning is one that evolves over time beginning with the teacher suggesting a line of structured inquiry that an entire class can engaged on together. The teacher controls the topic and resources to be used. As students become more comfortable with inquiry-based learning, the teacher may still choose the topics; but, the student now is responsible for the answers and how to come up with them. Eventually, students take the lead in inquiry-based learning. They choose the topic or questions to be answered and decide on the outcomes of their inquiry.

To create environments and experiences that encourage inquiry, early childhood educators should encourage learning and exploration through play. Lessons can be PBL oriented. Younger students can be presented with ‘wonder’ questions. Inquiry-based learning turns the table on traditional classroom time – the teacher is no longer the ‘expert’; students should be encouraged to follow own interests and develop own questions. Good inquiry-based learning should be based on teachers modeling the art of asking questions which lead to discussion, planning for how questions will be handled in the classroom, and providing students time for investigation and exploration.

As inquiry-based learning evolves in the classroom, so do opportunities for shared learning. GT students experience learning and grow through communication with peers. Shared opportunities in inquiry-based learning involve use of online tools such as discussion boards and collaborative apps. This results in sustained reflection and communication with others. Shared learning experiences can begin with open-ended questions, sentence stems for younger students, and written questions when asynchronous communication is required.

The expected outcomes of inquiry-based learning include higher classroom engagement, an atmosphere of valued inquiry, deep learning that is judged relevant to students’ lives, and the development of authentic reflection. Inquiry-based learning cultivates a culture purposeful questioning which promotes student choice and voice.

A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10AM AEST/1AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

What the Heck Is Inquiry-Based Learning? | Edutopia

Discover, Discuss, Demonstrate: Using Inquiry-Based Learning to Keep Students Engaged | Edutopia

What are EduProtocols?

What are EduProtocol lesson frames? (YouTube 1:30)

UDL Guidelines: About the Graphic Organizer

Bringing Inquiry-Based Learning into Your Class | Edutopia

6 Structures and Supports for the Inquiry Based Classroom | Discovery Education

10 Tips for Launching An Inquiry-Based Classroom | KQED MindShift

6 Strategies for Creating an Inquiry-Driven Classroom

5 Ways to Encourage Inquiry-Based Learning

How to Set the Stage for Inquiry-Based Learning

Using Instructional Design Strategies to Foster Curiosity

The Case for Curiosity | ASCD

3 Ways to Teach Everything through Inquiry

The Question Formulation Technique in Action (Vimeo 8:49) | The Right Question Institute

Designing Inquiry-Based PLCs to Differentiate Instruction and Drive School-Wide Improvement

3 Lenses for Developing Deeper Driving Questions

Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards: A Guide for Teaching and Learning (book)

Cybraryman’s Questioning Techniques Page

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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