In my forty years of working with gifted students (my own children, and my students), I have always been utterly amazed at their capacity to remember practically everything that they’ve seen, heard, or learned experientially. Whether it’s that promise to allow her to shave her legs when she turns thirteen (a promise made during her toddlerhood), to a recitation of all of the names of dinosaurs with detailed facts when he’s three, to an “I-never-study-I just-listen-in-class” confession when he’s in high school, gifted kids delight and amuse us, and REMEMBER EVERYTHING with seemingly little effort. That is, until they inevitably hit a wall. And because they are gifted kids, and often have not learned the coping skills and/or study habits necessary to help them learn effectively, they fail, and this failure can set up a cycle of underachievement that is hard to break.
It is with this backdrop in gifted education that I read the article Five Strategies for Remembering Everything You Learn from the Business Insider.
The article begins by asserting that there are two kinds of learning -- essentially the content and the process. Schools (and parents) do a respectable job with the content, but do not always address the process. It explains that, "We're comfortable talking about concrete information: names, dates, numbers, facts. But the guidance we offer on the act of learning itself — the 'metacognitive' aspects of learning — is more hit-or-miss, and it shows." Though the article postulates that this is a cultural issue, and an issue that often affects struggling learners, I believe that it can also affect gifted learners, because I have seen it happen so frequently. They eventually reach a point where their strategies (or lack of strategies) fail them.
The article then goes on to offer five suggestions to enhance the metacognitive aspects of learning. (These were taken from an update of an article originally posted by Drake Baer on Tech Insider).
Here’s my challenge to you. If you are dealing with a student who needs to enhance his/her toolkit for learning to learn, try utilizing these strategies. And...as you age, re-employ these strategies to keep your brain active and efficient. I know I am benefitting from these techniques!
As always, I hope that this foray into other ideas, and then linking them to the gifted perspective, has made you think. I welcome hearing from you!
Past President, WATG
Gifted in Perspective
A column designed to link the gifted perspective to other perspectives, and to make you think.