Sharing insider knowledge is important for equity in talent development

Sharing insider knowledge is important for equity in talent development

Sharing insider knowledge is important for equity in talent development

Symposium127Rena Subotnik, American Psychological Association, United States; Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, Northwestern University, United States; Frank Worrell, University of California, United States

Yangtze 1Thu 15:45 - 17:15

Balanced research and practice

Have you ever thought you had a chance at accessing an opportunity only to find out there were some implicit rules you did not follow? This might include failure to acquire the support of a key individual to have your idea approved or supported by others. It could include understanding the importance of attending certain social events for networking or gaining supporters for your research agenda. Insider knowledge is particular to a career or domain and important in making decisions and finding successful career pathways. As professionals, we can do a lot to help level the playing field for talented individuals in a domain by making insider knowledge more explicit for those who are upcoming in a field. This session will explore the known science behind this topic, and examples of insider knowledge that might be helpful to audience members.

In response to the call for supporting talent development and personal growth, the Talent Development Megamodel, published by the proposers of this session in 2011, is continuously under revision as new ideas, feedback, and research comes to the fore. Most recently, the authors added the principle of access to insider knowledge as a contributor to fulfilment of talent. Insider knowledge, like other components of talent development, is very much influenced by domain and developmental level. For example, access to insider knowledge will impact, in different ways, the movement from potential to competency, competency to expertise, and expertise to transformational creativity. This session will include the following components: (1) an overview of the definition of insider knowledge and its relationship to talent development; (2) applications from talent domains of music and science; and (3) examples of capitalizing on chance experiences and losses in the career of one of our presenters. This set of presentations will solicit from the audience other examples of insider knowledge and discuss how we might collect and share this "shadow curriculum" with students as an integral part of gifted education. Rena Subotnik will serve as the chair of the session and present the second paper. Paula Olszewski-Kubilius will present the first paper. The third paper will feature Frank Worrell, the current president of the American Psychological Association. The three presenters will devote a full 1/3 of the session to audience participation and responding to questions and queries.

Presentation 1

Various terms have been used to refer to the type of information that is implicit within a particular context such as at work or school yet is not deliberately taught or shared. This information is typically gained in response to negative experience or positive mentoring and is often significantly related to successful performance within those setting. This phenomenon has been described as tacit knowledge, practical intelligence, shadow curriculum, and insider knowledge. Sternberg included tacit knowledge under the umbrella of practical intelligence within his Successful Intelligence model and defined it as action-oriented knowledge that enables individuals to achieve goals that they personally value. Tacit knowledge is multi-faceted and includes cognitive, technical, and social skills at both an individual and institutional level yet has been conceived as an ability, unlike insider knowledge, which is viewed as teachable. Studies have found associations between tacit knowledge and better academic performance by college students and better performance among bank managers, academic psychologists, and military officers. In this session, we will provide an overview of the research on insider knowledge including definitional frameworks, measurement approaches, and empirical studies of its relationship to performance in varied domains. This will set the stage for the subsequent presentations that will explore insider knowledge within several domains of performance.

Presentation 2

Comparing domains regarding their implicit values can be enlightening and help to identify potential categories of insider knowledge that could be gathered and catalogued. Some categories include preparing to be recognized as talented, choosing mentors and educational programs, assessing time commitments, and psychosocial skill preparation. This section of the symposium will offer examples from the domains of classical music and science. The sources of this information were collected from a search of the literature as well as studies of participants of music conservatories, selective science high schools, and science competitions as well as interviews with expert scientists reflecting on what they wished they had known when they were adolescents. Participants in this session will be asked to reflect on the ways in which domain specific insider knowledge can be systematically collected, organized, and shared.

Presentation 3

In this paper, the presenter will discuss examples of insider knowledge that have benefitted him over the years. Starting with the elementary school years and continuing through his role as an academic and leader in the field of psychology, he will review aspects of insider knowledge that he stumbled upon—such as the benefits of risk-taking and the power of personal relationships in helping —as well as insider knowledge that he was provided by advisors, colleagues, and supervisors. This session will transition into conversation with the audience about insider knowledge from the domains of expertise that they study and work in.

_PRACTITIONERS, Domains, Insider Knowledge, More equitable outcomes, Talent Develoment
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