That Thomas Edison was a gifted child (and adult) seems to be beyond a proven fact.
However, his early teachers were reportedly not particularly appreciative of young Tom’s learning style. He was labeled ‘addled’ and ‘unteachable.’ His mother attempted to advocate for her son, but, eventually, instead of expecting the school to accommodate her child, she withdrew her 12-year-old from the public system and proceeded to teach him at home. (More on Thomas Edison as an early homeschooler at: http://www.learningabledkids.com/Famous%20Homeschoolers/thomas_edison_homeschooled.htm)
Ultimately, Edison proved that a unique intelligence was a nice thing to have (well, unless you’re one of his teachers – and, we have to assume, on many days of the week, his mother, too), but that the real key to success and living up to your potential is persistence.
He is quoted as saying, “Nearly every man who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward. I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
This has since been proven repeatedly in quantitative studies – that a high IQ is nothing compared to hard work.
One such research paper asserted:
Lewis Terman, the inventor of the Stanford-Binet IQ test…. spent decades following a large sample of “gifted” students, searching for evidence that his measurement of intelligence was linked to real world success. While the most accomplished men did have slightly higher scores, Terman also found that other traits, such as “perseverance,” were much more pertinent. Terman concluded that one of the most fundamental tasks of modern psychology was to figure out why intelligence is not a more important part of achievement: “Why this is so, and what circumstances affect the fruition of human talent, are questions of such transcendent importance that they should be investigated by every method that promises the slightest reduction of our present ignorance.”
Read more at: modenook.com/gifted-education-in-new-york/gifted-education-101-what-…
And to learn more about the life and work of Thomas Alva Edison, visit the Epiphany Library (http://www.nypl.org/locations/tid/24/node/139991?lref=24%2Fcalendar) in Manhattan on Tuesday, February 28 at 3 PM to have:
Thomas Alva Edison engage children as they help him recreate some of his most famous experiments. Along the way, Edison shares several secrets that the audience can utilize in their day-to-day lives: the value of hard work, the value of mistakes, the value of turning liabilities into assets, and the value of enjoying one’s work. For children ages 4 and older.