Saturday, February 18, 2012

Why do we not let talented kids learn at their own rate?

Why do we not spend more money on talented kids?

I just read an article on a particularly talented kid and exceptionally gifted and intelligent kids are the most underfunded children in the Unites States. This actually is not surprising when you think of it.

Our schools have a pretty sad habit of slowing down things to accomodate the average kid and to an extent that is all well and fine because the average kid has to learn, too. What is not well and fine is that they simply don't pull the top 5% out and let them run. These are the guys that will eventually turn society a profit and make it a better place to live.

These are the ones that are going to be the shakers and movers. These people will cure cancer, see us to the moon and back, and create things that will make us all better off.

Instead we hold these people back and leave them in average classrooms full of average kids bored to tears and not coming anywhere close to using even one percent of what they have.

There is nothing whatsoever wrong with being an average kid. There are millions of average and above average kids that will do well and live good lives contributing to society in general and they are the basic backbone of human civilization (somethimes I think that is an oxymoron)

Still, there are a handful of truly brilliant young people out there that should be permitted to let run with what they have.
We spend fortunes on kids that either do not, can not or are just plain unwilling to learn, yet there are few facilities for the truly bright ones.

Several years ago I read a book on the then Soviet army and when their tactics were described they used an example of three companies. One is slowly losing ground, one is in a stalemate and the other is slowly gaining ground. There is a company in reserve. The question of course, is where to commit the reserves.

The correct answer is to commit it to the company that is gaining ground so they can pour on through and relieve the other companies. The tactic works. You reenforce success to create more success.

We make policies like 'no child left behind', but guess what? No matter how much money and effort you put into such a wonderful social program it is not going to work. People are still going to be left behind no matter what you do.

How about if we start reenforcing success?

The few talented children out there if permitted to take the ball and run with it and get ahead will tend to drag all of us ahead with them. There is a bright kid out there just waiting to make all of our lives better by finding a cure for cancer or build a better light bulb or something good for society and he's being held back.

Instead the kid is sitting in a classroom somewhere bored to tears and trying desperately not to fall asleep in class instead of being in a place where he can actually learn something. It's a true waste and we as a people are going to pay for wasting such talent.

Kids like that sould not have to waste their time sitting in a boring arithmetic class when thay can be learning calculus.

While there certainly are not a lot of these kids we ought to invest in them instead of letting talent like that die on the vine.

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