Development of metacognitive concepts about thinking in gifted and nongifted children: Recent research Academic Article uri icon


  • This article provides an overview of recent research in our laboratories on the development of metacognition in gifted and nongifted children. Research examining the development of children's metacognitive knowledge of mental activity concepts, general declarative metacognitive knowledge, and specific metacognitive attributions are reviewed. The present studies found, as had Alexander, Carr, and Schwanenflugel (1995), patterns of gifted and nongifted metacognitive development differed depending on the type of metacognitive knowledge being examined. Specifically, recent research on knowledge of mental activity concepts showed no clear advantages for gifted children over nongifted children. Declarative metacognitive knowledge research continues to support a monotonic advantage hypothesis in which gifted children show consistent advantages over nongifted children during the early elementary school years. This advantage, however, is short-lived due to the possible presence of a ceiling effect showing a closing of the declarative metacognitive knowledge gap between gifted and nongifted children around fourth grade. Finally, recent research on specific metacognitive attributions suggests that more intelligent children develop more sophisticated attributions over time but their ability to use this information may be more dependent on other individual differences variables that may or may not be related to intelligence such as knowledge base familiarity. We conclude that it is important to differentiate the types of metacognitive knowledge being measured in studies as we investigate individual differences in the development of children's metacognitive insights about thinking. 1996 JAI Press Inc. All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.

published proceedings

  • Learning and Individual Differences

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Alexander, J. M., & Schwanenflugel, P. J.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Alexander, Joyce M||Schwanenflugel, Paula J

publication date

  • January 1996