Professor Heidrun Stoeger, PhD, is full professor for educational sciences at the University of Regensburg, Germany. She holds the Chair for School Research, School Development, and Evaluation. She is vice president of the International Research Association for Talent Development and Excellence (IRATDE). She is also a member of the editorial board of the German journal Talent Development and served from 2007 to 2014 as editor in chief of the journal High Ability Studies. She has published more than 250 articles, chapters, and books on giftedness, self-regulated learning, motivation, fine motor skills, and teacher education. She is a member of several national and international scientific boards and expert commissions in the field of giftedness research and gifted education.
The Role of Self-Regulated Learning for Talent Development
Developing a talent to the point at which an individual can make exceptional accomplishments requires about 10,000 hours of active learning or deliberate practice. Studies indicate that individuals frequently find such a learning process to be somewhat unpleasant or even aversive. These facts raise two pertinent questions for giftedness research: How can individual increase the likelihood of maintaining their focus over the course of such a long learning process, and how can such a process be structured in a manner that is perceived as more pleasant? A partial answer to these questions is that gifted individuals need encouraging, professional support throughout the course of their development. Yet gifted individuals' learning cannot be wholly planned, accompanied, monitored, and optimized by others. Thus, a second crucial partial answer needs to focus on gifted individuals' own capabilities in the area of self-regulated learning, which is the focus of this talk.
After introductory remarks on the topic of self-regulated learning, the results of studies on average-ability and gifted students will be presented. The most important points of departure to be considered when designing training programs in this area will be outlined. As a case in point I will describe a number of training programs that are designed to be carried out by teachers as well as parents of gifted pupils. In the programs, cognitive and metacognitive strategies are taught in individual scholastic subjects (e.g., mathematics or science). The results of evaluation studies will be presented that examined the effectiveness of such training regimens for average-ability students as well as for gifted achievers and gifted underachievers. The talk will conclude with thoughts on how self-regulated learning capabilities can be conveyed in the context of counseling conducted with gifted individuals.