As A Nation, How Can We Best Empower Our Gifted Kids?

Should your child move ahead to that advanced math class? Should they skip a grade? Should they enter college early? What impact will that have on their educational and social/emotional trajectory? What does the research evidence tell us?

Does It Really Matter Where You Go to College?

If you want to be a leader in society, where you go to school probably matters. A good college, after all, might increase the likelihood of your success. When parents worry about which school their kids go to, they may be acting quite rationally.

Love the Child, Not the Gift

For all parents of gifted children, be sure you communicate unconditional love for your child throughout his/her development. Love the child, not the gift. Reward your child for effort, dedication, and discipline, not their gifts. Be there for them throughout their development. Listen to their struggles and support their dreams.

What Happens to Students on the Fast Track to College?

Most of us spend four years in high school, but every once in a while you’ll hear about some prodigy who enters college earlier than typical. For example, Murray Gell-Mann, the Nobel Prize winning physicist, entered Yale University at age 15. Gell-Mann turned out pretty successful, but what about people who entered college early as a whole?

Irony: Brain Games Don’t Increase IQ, But Measure IQ?

Do brain games essentially function as IQ tests? Research suggests they do.

Six Strategies on How to Rise to the Top in Any Field

Here are six tips from advertising legend David Ogilvy on how to rise to the top in any field.

7 Lessons for Success, Including a Few You Haven't Heard

Here are the billionaire Ray Dalio's insights on how to succeed in life.

1,339 U.S. Colleges Ranked by Average Student Brainpower

Where should you go to school if you want to be with the highest concentration of the smartest students?

Where And When Should Math Interventions Be Targeted?

How much of your math achievement later in life is due to your stable underlying characteristics like general cognitive abilities and personality, and how much is due to your prior math competency or knowledge? The answer to this question is important, because it can help us know how to direct where and when math interventions might be targeted for the greatest payoff.

How Do We Know if Gifted Education Works?

Economists interested in education have recently started to evaluate gifted education programs. In this piece, we provide a critique of the recent economic studies from the perspective of researchers who study this population regularly.

Intelligence Is Critical to the Future of Humankind

How will our understanding of human intelligence be fundamental to the future of humankind? I discuss this and more with the founder and editor of Intelligence, a journal that explores the current state of knowledge surrounding how smart we are and how smart we can be.

What Your Social Media Use Says About You

How we present ourselves is often not at all the same thing as what we are really like inside.

Three Ways We Can All Become Better Teachers

When we think of a teacher, we often think of our childhoods and desks, and the person at the head of the classroom. But in many ways all of us are teachers in so many aspects of everyday life. Whenever we want to educate someone about something, or help them understand our perspective or point of view, drawing from the craft of teaching can be helpful.

6 Lessons for Love and Life

In "Love In A Damp Climate," Quentin Fottrell recounts the 10 years of advice he gave on the radio about how to navigate relationships with friends, family members, and partners. Here are six lessons on love and life distilled from his work.

Seven Ways to Be More Curious

Curiosity, according to Ian Leslie, is a combination of intelligence, persistence, and hunger for novelty, all wrapped up in one. Leslie, in his book Curious, explores the power of curiosity through a combination of entertaining anecdotes and summaries of pertinent research across many fields. From his work, I have distilled seven ways we might all become more curious.

Shakespeare, Vermeer, and the "Secrets" of Genius

Could just anyone produce a masterpiece like Shakespeare? What are the secrets of genius?

Do Standardized Tests Matter?

We face standardized tests throughout much of our lives from K-12, college admissions, graduate admissions, and employment settings. But why are they used so extensively? Do they really matter?

Sorry Jay Mathews, Gifted Education Matters

Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews recently argued in “Four gifted writers share doubts about gifted education” that gifted education programs don’t matter. Is this really true?

Reinventing The Boundaries of Science Journalism

I talk with Thomas Lin, editor of Quanta Magazine, about his goals in illuminating underdog areas of science through innovative storytelling.

Are You an Invisible in a World of Visibles?

You know the name Barack Obama. You likely do not know the name David Plouffe. That’s because Plouffe was the invisible supporting the visible: he was Obama’s campaign manager. In his latest book "Invisibles" author David Zweig tells the stories of many people who have found great satisfaction and power in behind-the-scenes work, including his own.

The Right Way to Treat Child Geniuses

Jordan Ellenberg recently wrote an essay arguing that we pay too much attention to our child geniuses. Is this really true?

7 Time-Tested Steps to Achieving Excellence

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary on the life and craft of the great 85 year old sushi master Jiro Ono who owns a tiny 10 seat shop in Tokyo that has the highest Michelin Guide rating of 3 stars. Here is the wisdom distilled from the great sushi chef on how to master your craft.

When Can You Trust The Experts?

“If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make a difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t make a difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is. If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong.” – Richard Feynman

More Gifted Students: Harder To Get Into The Ivies?

Over at The Upshot, David Leonhardt provides data showing that it is harder than ever to get into one of the Ivies. Could a Flynn effect for geniuses, or more gifted students today than ever before, be part of the explanation?

Do We Have Trouble Taking Objective Feedback?

This cartoon has been shared well over 300,000 times. It is from Quick Meme and is titled “Our Education System In A Nutshell.” It apparently resonates widely with people. It initially resonated with me. Until I actually stopped to think.

We Need To Value Spatial Creativity

At 16, Albert Einstein wrote his first scientific paper titled “The Investigation of the State of Aether in Magnetic Fields.” This was the result of his famous gedanken experiment in which he visually imagined chasing after a light beam. The insights he gained from this thought experiment led to the development of his theory of special relativity.

Even Nerds Need To Be Appropriately Challenged

What happens when there is a large gap between research understanding and public understanding? I discuss this in the context of educational acceleration for gifted kids.

Train Your Brain With a Simple New Game: "Three Words"

If you enjoy playing Scrabble, you might like a new game I recently discovered called three words created by software engineer Jason Tan. It takes basic elements of Scrabble and turns them into a puzzle. You have to use the letters given to create three words that fill the blank squares to maximize your score.

How Much Do Parents Determine Their Children’s Success?

Should you have a kid? More than one kid? How much can you influence them? “Parents picture kids as clay they mold for life, when they’re actually more like flexible plastic that responds to pressure, but pops back into its original shape when the pressure is released.” - Bryan Caplan

Why the SAT Needs to Be Harder

Everyone is now discussing the new SAT overhaul. Much focus seems to be on specific test content changes. However, at least in selective college admissions, one aspect of the test remains ignored: the SAT is still too easy for the most academically talented students.

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