Genius kids don’t need acceleration — taking the same old classes faster — writes Richard Rusczyk on Britannica Blog. Rusczyk, who specializes in identifying and educating ultra-talented math students, is responding to the Time story on genius students.
Our top students nowadays usually are accelerated in school. And theyâ€™re still bored and underserved.
The problem our students face in their regular schools is that the standard curriculum is not designed for high-performing students, just as PE classes are not designed for our best athletes. The classes are too slow and too easy. And skipping grades or going to community college doesnâ€™t address the core issue either. It puts these students in yet another class that isnâ€™t designed for them, only now the other students in the class are many years older, which creates its own social problems. A better solution is to create a specialized curriculum for honors-level students, just as thereâ€™s specialized training for the basketball team and the band. I donâ€™t mean honors classes â€“ these are usually taught from the same books and with the same material as the regular classes. I mean books and classes developed specifically for our future mathematicians, engineers and scientists.
My daughter’s half-sister enrolled in college this month at the age of 14, skipping high school entirely. She took some college classes last year, when she was in eighth grade, and did very well. It seems to be a good option for her. And it’s hard to imagine a high school with enough students like her to offer the Latin, Greek and religious studies classes that interest her. Even if she were a math-science genius, which she’s not, would there be enough geniuses to create separate classes?