Sunday, December 30, 2012

Academic Excellence Post 3 - Creating Genius Schools and The Power of Self Education

Every child is special...Every child is unique...

"Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each."
 - Plato (BC 427-BC 347) Greek philosopher.

Plato often talked about the concept of a a philosopher king. A king that had the right education  designed to his personal interests that contributed and developed to both his thinking and physical development. Filled with hardships and inspiring interactions. Filled with music, culture, books and sports. 

To this platonic thought I dedicate this blog post. Maybe as students we are put into education systems that are not designed to nurture and build our talents. But.......But what if we could design an Education System of our own and of our own liking....with people that share our interests....what if you  started studying only the courses that helped you build on your passion.... and met and constantly interacted with people that have succeeded or done well in the field of your dreams.
....Wouldn't that be wonderful? ....

 What if there was a system in place that could find out what the child is passionate about. Then this system would help him or her build a career around it. 

Then it could nurture, guide and monitor the student through school and college to ensure that he or she has all the help and aid required to lead and design the life of his or her dreams....Now wouldn't that be wonderful.

The point is there is no one stopping you from designing such a system for your self. You can create a GENIUS SCHOOL at home. With the advent of the internet age you can literally become an expert in any subject or career. 
  1. You can learn from videos on You Tube. 
  2. You can form groups and pages on social networking sites and interact, share and discuss ideas with like minded people.  
  3. You can Google organizations and great people in your field and study and practice their work. 
There is no one stopping you from designing an education system of your choice... an education system where you are the teacher....where you are the student...and where you decide and prepare the course material!

As Jim Rohn the late human potential expert wonderfully put it, "Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.

...Now wouldn't that be wonderful....

I recently read this wonderful article on on specials schools created in the US to nurture students with high IQ and intellectual curiosity. 

 What if these innovative centers could be created all around the world. What if such centers were created in different fields like sports, or cooking or writing. What if schools were designed to work on a child's individual talents and abilities?

Here is an excerpt from the article:-

- 'The phrase “genius school” has been tossed around quite a bit over the past year or so, after Cornell University won an international contest to create a high-tech mecca in New York City. Slated to open in 2017 on Roosevelt Island, a narrow, 150-acre slab of land smack in the middle of the East River, the campus is expected to attract thousands of top-flight students, teachers and researchers from all over the world to work on green technology, computer programing and urban planning (among other disciplines) while pumping billions of dollars back into the New York economy.

Few people are aware, however, that this is not the first time New York has played host to a “genius school.” In fact, seven decades ago, the city housed just such a venture at Hunter College — a school filled not with post-adolescent megaminds and college-age uber-geeks, but 450 apparently well-adjusted, engaged kids who just happened to enjoy IQs averaging around 150. (Post-graduate students, by comparison, generally fall in the 120-130 I.Q. range.)

As LIFE noted in a March 1948 feature on the school:

The school they go to is P.S. 600, part of New York’s public-school system and the only institution in the U.S. devoted entirely to the teaching and study of gifted children. It is held in a wing of the college’s main building, in whose long corridors the bright little kids from 3 to 11 years old like to stop off for between-class chats.

Offhand, young geniuses would seem to present no immediate problems because they are usually bigger, healthier and even happier than average children. However, an educational problem exists simply because they are too bright for their age. If they are promoted rapidly through school on the basis of their studies they will end up as social misfits, unable to enjoy the society of children their own age. On the other hand, if they are held back with their own age group, their quick minds are apt to stagnate.

Hunter children know they are smart, but they are more humble than cocky about their intelligence…. [A]lthough their interest are advanced, their plans for the future have a refreshing normality. There is a 9-year-old who wants to be a fur trapper, an 8-year-old who wants to be a babysitter and a 7-year-old who wants to be president of the Coca-Cola Company.

Read the full article with pictures here -

Speaking to Ashok who was a participant at one of our '3 strikes and 10 Habits to Greatness' workshop. 

He told me he wanted to become a chef but didn't know how to get there through the current school system he was part of. I told him about culinary schools out there in the world waiting for students like him, about chefs like Gordon Ramsay who made millions with the craft he loved, about the many blogs and books on cooking he could read, about the power of using social media to connect with more people with similar interests and finally about creating his own personal culinary education university.

Albert Einstein put it well when he said, "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."

Give every student the chance to design the life of his or her dreams! They have just one shot at life....Help them choose what is best for them...Build on the things they are passionate about...Let them design the Great Life they deserve to live... 

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