"The Prodigy Puzzle" puzzles me...
Sunday's New York Times magazine featured a cover story on The Prodigy Puzzle or "Can Genius Really Be Cultivated? The Rise of the Gifted-Child Industry." (Requires registration).
The piece was thought-provoking and, while quite long, eventually made a point we've discussed here. Intellectual potential, and even early prodigious works, do not guarantee that a child will grow up to advance human knowledge or shape the culture. You need more than IQ. You need discipline, creativity, endurance. And luck.
But calling what's going on in gifted education these days an "industry" is pushing it. A handful of groups give scholarships, and attempt to make rock stars for a few days out of kids whose works place them at the national or international vanguard of achievement. These children then return to schools where principals will throw pep rallies because the football team won a few games against local competition. I wish gifted education advocates had enough clout in the culture to create an "industry."