Current research indicates that some gifted students possess better self-regulated learning strategies than their peers, however gifted students may have done very well in school without using good self-regulation strategies because of a combination of their high abilities and/or an unchallenging curriculum. If learning is relatively easy for someone, less effort, organization and other self-regulated activities are expended. Social conditions or personal issues may prevent students from developing self-regulated learning strategies. For some students who already have some of these strategies, social or personal issues may prevent them from using them regularly, and thus, they need to be helped and encouraged to do so. Some gifted and talented students display perfectionism and need to learn to strive for excellence (their personal best) rather than perfection. Some talented students with high potential may find it difficult to learn self-regulation when it is not taught, modeled, or rewarded by the adults in their home and family. Even if students interact regularly with adults who demonstrate self-regulation, they may fail to use these skills themselves due to peer pressure or refuse to use the strategies their parents or teachers regularly employ at home or school.
Compared with low achieving students, high achievers set more specific learning goals, use a variety of learning strategies, self-monitor more often, and adapt their efforts more systematically. The quality and quantity of self-regulation processes is crucial. We must recognize that one self-regulation strategy will not work for all students, and that the use of only a few strategies will not work optimally for a person on all tasks or occasions. It is important that students learn to use multiple self-regulatory learning skills rather than single strategies. They must also learn that their goals and their choice of self-regulation strategies have to be continually adjusted. Our hope in this module is that we will be able to work with students to help them shift from performance goals to move towards mastery goals, focusing on understanding the material, persisting when they are challenged or their performance fails. This is especially critical for talented students who seldom experience high levels of challenge.