Sunday, January 6, 2013

Talent Factories

Check out this YouTube video.

Dylan William on Remodeling Schools into Talent Factories


Comparing academics to sports isn't new to advocates for gifted kids, but William's comments are a good indication that those outside the field also recognize the inequity.    


I'm not sure where it came from, but the decades old story told by educators of the gifted goes something like this:


So I walked into my high school principal's office and asked for a few minutes of his time.  "I'd like you to consider this proposal," I said.  


"I'd like to select a handful of our best students and allow them to work together with specialists in their talent area for 3 or 4 hours each day. Then they could interact with other students with similar interests and abilities. The adults would be good role models, experts who could work individually with the students, perfecting their skills, making sure each is appropriately challenged."


"We'll need a big part of the school building for our program.  And lots of specialized equipment.  Probably a budget of $500,000 a year or more."


"I'd also like the kids to go to other schools several times a week to interact with and learn from kids just like them.  We'd need busing and chaperones, of course.  And also school logo clothing for each of them would be nice, just to show that we're proud of them and want others to know they're from our school."


"As a matter of fact, I think this selection process should begin in elementary school where we'll identify the most promising students and provide year-round programming for them, including summer camps and after school lessons.  That way, by the time they reach high school they will truly be our best and our brightest."


"Are you crazy?" he said.  "That would be elitist."


"No," I said.  "That would be our athletic program."


Go! Fight! Win!

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