Not a fan of learning in a classroom
School may not be the best venue for developing exceptional abilities.
In my article Getting out of school alive, I quote Caltech physicist Caolionn O’Connell, PhD:
“I have never been a fan of learning in a classroom. Inside a laboratory or a garage, I always wanted to know more, but never inside a classroom.”
Charles Murray, PhD of the American Enterprise Institute published a series of three articles on attitudes about being gifted, and the constricted encouragement of wisdom in the education and life experience of high ability people. Below are excerpts from two of these articles.
Gifted people not superior but lucky
We live in an age when it is unfashionable to talk about the special responsibility of being gifted, because to do so acknowledges inequality of ability, which is elitist, and inequality of responsibilities, which is also elitist.
And so children who know they are smarter than the other kids tend, in a most human reaction, to think of themselves as superior to them.
Because giftedness is not to be talked about, no one tells high-IQ children explicitly, forcefully and repeatedly that their intellectual talent is a gift.
That they are not superior human beings, but lucky ones. That the gift brings with it obligations to be worthy of it.
That among those obligations, the most important and most difficult is to aim not just at academic accomplishment, but at wisdom.
The encouragement of wisdom requires a special kind of education. It requires first of all recognition of one’s own intellectual limits and fallibilities–in a word, humility. This is perhaps the most conspicuously missing part of today’s education of the gifted.
Many high-IQ students, especially those who avoid serious science and math, go from kindergarten through an advanced degree without ever having a teacher who is dissatisfied with their best work and without ever taking a course that forces them to say to themselves, “I can’t do this.”
Humility requires that the gifted learn what it feels like to hit an intellectual wall, just as all of their less talented peers do, and that can come only from a curriculum and pedagogy designed especially for them.
Charles Murray, PhD in his article Aztecs vs. Greeks
Gifts for craftsmanship
Large numbers of those who are intellectually qualified for college also do not yearn for four years of college-level courses.
They go to college because their parents are paying for it and college is what children of their social class are supposed to do after they finish high school.
They may have the ability to understand the material in Economics 1 but they do not want to. They, too, need to learn to make a living–and would do better in vocational training. …
A reality about the job market must eventually begin to affect the valuation of a college education: The spread of wealth at the top of American society has created an explosive increase in the demand for craftsmen.
Finding a good lawyer or physician is easy. Finding a good carpenter, painter, electrician, plumber, glazier, mason–the list goes on and on–is difficult, and it is a seller’s market.
Charles Murray, PhD – in his article What’s Wrong with Vocational School?
Charles Murray, PhD is W. H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and author of books:
The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (with Richard J. Herrnstein),
Also see site search results for the book Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting our Brightest Young Minds,