Malcolm Gladwell on ‘Streamlining’

This is a fantastic assessment of the current educational system where the good–even before we’re sure who is really good–are disproportionately given better situations that, of course, make them better, while the rest…well…read the post and watch the clip of Gladwell explaining how education is like a modeling agency when it should be like the marines.

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Tipping Point, Outliers  author and New Yorker writer, Malcolm Gladwell, is interviewed by Robert Krulwich, NPR science correspondent and co-host of Radiolab. Much of the talk centers around the definition of “genius” and Gladwell’s  article on the Race-IQ debate during the time of the interview (2007). In this video clip, Gladwell compares the American education system to a modeling agency and contrasts it with the Marines.

Krulwich: Is it a good idea to pluck, to segregate, the stars?

“No. I think it’s bad. I have become a foe, an implacable foe, of any kind of streaming in any form. It is wrong to segregate out the best at an early age because you don’t know who the best is. You think you do, but you don’t. All you’ve done is create a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is the kind of things that makes me and others beat our heads against a wall.”


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