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How Educate the Gifted Child?
The Problem of Precocity

- Abstract

One of the biggest headaches in American education is the child who learns too well too quickly. He presents problems to society, to the schools, and to his parents.

Society’s eager misunderstanding of the question was illustrated for me not long ago at a lecture by a prominent educator who was lamenting the waste to our nation and the world caused by our failure to use fully the powers of our gifted children. In a rhetorical flight, he invoked Mozart: if only our schools could do their job, they would turn out Mozarts every year. Everybody nodded approval. But this was nonsense. We may lose a Mozart once a century, but not more; that’s all there are.

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