The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The pace of education for the gifted

Education should match the one to be educated, in terms of both pace and challenge. Yet, unless that child is very average, with no particular gift, they are unlikely to be educated in such a way.

The problem with education is that all people are not, despite political aspirations otherwise, made equal - at least not intellectually - though they may be equal in terms of rights etc. in some societies. Education aims to educate most people in an acceptable way - so it ends up educating for the average person. This may seem fair, but it isn't to anyone who isn't average - which is quite a lot of people - at both ends of the spectrum.

As I sometimes do, I asked Ainan, this evening, whether he had learnt anything in school.

His response was very informative. He spoke in a long-drawn out way, each syllable pronounced with infinite sloth: "Slllllooooooowwwwwmoooooowwwwww!"

He was saying "Slow motion".

For Ainan, 7, school is something that occurs in slow motion. The pace of lessons is glacial. It must be very frustrating for him because I have often observed that, when I am teaching him some quite complex or subtle scientific point, that he quite often cuts me off with: "That's obvious Daddy".

Here is the rub, as Shakespeare might have said: if conceptual aspects of College level Chemistry are "Obvious Daddy" - how does he feel in School, having to learn the most basic of things, at the most tardy of paces?

It is cruel to do that to a young mind. It is cruel to so underchallenge Ainan that he sees school as if it passes in cinematic slow motion.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged seven years and nine months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and two months, and Tiarnan, nineteen months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 12:11 AM 


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