I’m glad the Times has seen fit to devote more inches to the topic of gifted education. I’m also glad that some terrific organizations, like the Davidson Institute for Talent Development and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY). I’m glad to see one of my favorite teachers from my undergrad days at MIT, Jeanne Bamberger, mentioned. And I’m glad it was the fourth most emailed story of the day — maybe people really do care about education and the future of this country.
Of course, I have some minor and not-so-minor quibbles with the article, which I won’t detail now. But overall, I thought the piece was thought-provoking and well researched article.
There was a nice section towards the end of the piece with some choice quotes:
[Longtime MIT Professor] Norbert Wiener, the founder of cybernetics and himself a prodigy who went to Tufts at 11 and Harvard at 15, wrote that prodigious children need to develop a “reasonably thick skin” – to feel they aren’t demonized and will find a niche, but not to expect the world to supply a spotlight. [Psychologist Dean Keith Simonton] speaks of the importance of being able to be “on the failure track for a while, take time off, take a real risk.” Creativity and innovation, he says he is convinced, depend on “exposure to the unusual, to the diverse, to heterogeneity,” which inspires a “recognition that there are a lot of different ways of looking at different things.” There are also all kinds of ways that this “awareness that there’s more than one possible world” can dawn.
For those of you intrigued by the program highlighted in the story, you should go learn more about the Davidson Fellows. Deadlines for this year’s honors start in early 2006.
And with the holiday season coming up, I should note that a home subscription to the New York Times makes for a great gift. Even in this Age of the Internet, I do enjoy reading the newspaper of record daily during my subway ride to MIT and during lunch. A few other print periodicals I might recommend include The Economist, The New Yorker, and Science. They can be a little pricey, but you really do get what you pay for.
My agenda for tomorrow: mostly reading more EA applications, followed by games at the house. Should be another good day.