Gifted Children


How to raise a genius: lessons from a 45-year study of super-smart children

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"What Julian wanted to know was, how do you find the kids with the highest potential for excellence in what we now call STEM, and how do you boost the chance that they'll reach that potential," says Camilla Benbow, a protégé of Stanley's who is now dean of education and human development at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Many of the innovators who are advancing science, technology and culture are those whose unique cognitive abilities were identified and supported in their early years through enrichment programmes such as Johns Hopkins University's Center for Talented Youth -- which Stanley began in the 1980s as an adjunct to SMPY. "Setting out to raise a genius is the last thing we'd advise any parent to do," says Camilla Benbow, dean of education and human development at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. But after the first follow-up survey, five years later, Benbow proposed extending the study to track subjects through their lives, adding cohorts and including assessments of interests, preferences, and occupational and other life accomplishments.