New efforts are trying to bring a new approach to the education of the gifted – and this is not happening in the school building.
It is a curriculum and home school support system with a somewhat unusual boarding school option that includes small groups of students on a kind of educational trip.
There will be a curriculum, but the effort is primarily project-based, taking into account the interests of each student.
It’s called the Collins Institute for the Gifted, and it’s just about to launch publicly. Its leaders hope to launch their first very small pilot program in the fall.
“You can call it ‘rail training’ in the sense that it’s completely self-paced, but we’re also giving more advice,” said co-founder Simon Collins.
This new program, which will focus on high school and high school, is based on a couple with their own unusual stories, including personal difficulties with the current educational model in school, which they overcame to become successful venture capitalists and authors.
In a podcast this week, we contacted Collins to hear her vision for the program and ask how it affects the debate on how to make gifted education more equitable.
Collins ’resume includes an unusual path to education, including assistance in running a secret society for controversial tech billionaire Peter Till.
“This is smartly and decently supported by research,” says Jonathan Plucker, a professor of talent development at Johns Hopkins University School of Education and former president of the National Association of Gifted Children. “They take things that others have tried, they’ve repackaged them, and there’s a little more flexibility,” he says, adding that the offer may work well for “a small group of parents and students.”
Collins acknowledges that the program will only work for some students, but she hopes to one day make the institute’s proposals an option in the public school system, possibly as a charter school.