Thursday, February 10, 2011

Talented Teenagers

From a review of a 1995 book by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi:

"The authors conclude that learning to invest, and wanting to invest, in challenging tasks is indispensable to skill development. It is also important to have a social environment wherein students enjoy emotional and material support from their families while taking more responsibility for their own learning, especially in the area of their talent, and finding enjoyment in doing so. None of these elements, however, was much in evidence in the teenagers' schools; instead, the schools appeared more interested in "covering cognitive ground" than engaging the interest of talented students.

Parents, teachers, psychologists and counselors will find concrete information about conditions that cultivate talent in both "gifted" and "regular" adolescents."

We need to make better schools. Not schools driven by high stakes testing. That simply amplifies the orientation to "cover cognitive ground".

What kind of schools do we need? Schools that understand how to cultivate talent in both "gifted" and "regular" adolescents.

This is why we have accepted the challenge to expand our program into the high school level -- not just another conventional high school -- a Montessori high school, a Post Oak high school.

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