Unfortunately, of the millions of potential world-changers who are born each year, only a small portion will be noticed and given the resources they need to develop their prodigious gifts. By refusing them an education that is appropriate to their abilities, we are potentially hobbling our economies and denying our civilization its next generation of innovators – the Salks, Mozarts, and Curies who can push the frontiers of knowledge forward.
Education researchers now estimate that the academically gifted make up 6 to 10 percent of the U.S. school-age population. When the definition of gifted is expanded to include artistic, athletic, and other talents, the proportion is much higher. In fact, the latest research suggests that nearly everyone has the capacity to achieve extraordinary performance in some domain of expertise that allows his or her unique set of personal attributes to shine.
But what does it take to identify and develop the raw material of talent and turn it into exceptional accomplishment? How do we parent and educate extraordinary determined and intelligent children and help them reach their potential? How can we help more conventionally talented children find the self motivation and external support that moves them toward the fulfillment of their dreams? And how do we shift the course of an educational culture that has, for the past several decades, under challenged the children it once regarded as its best hope?
Excerpt from the book The Boy Who Played with Fusion by Tom Clynes