Can genius be taught?
This episode focuses on Susan Polgar, the first female chess grandmaster, whose incredible story suggests that genius does not always have to be innate, but can be taught.
Susan’s remarkable abilities have earned her the label of ‘genius’, but her psychologist father, László Polgar, believed that genius was “not born, but made”. Noting that even Mozart received tutelage from his father at a very early age, Polgar set about teaching chess to the five-year-old Susan after she happened upon a chess set in their home. “My father believed that the potential of children was not used optimally,” says Susan. (1)
“Schools, he says, are irremediably broken. Built to supply a mass-production economy with a docile workforce, they ask too little of children, and thereby drain youngsters of curiosity and autonomy.
…..the truth is that genius is an exceedingly common human quality, probably natural to most of us.
…[in education] We need to start from the cold-blooded premise that almost everyone is a genius — not that almost everyone is worthless.” John Taylor Gatto
- Susan Polgars Blog – My Brilliant Brain
- Susan Polgars Blog – My Brilliant Brain All 6Parts
- Article on the episode
- John Taylor Gatto: I’m a Saboteur