Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Polymathic Academies

In The Inappropriately Excluded we looked at the impact of traditional educational institutions on gifted children and their contribution to a lifetime of underachievement.  From the very beginning we have recognized the need to create better educational environments for our Polymathican kids.
While the need and interest has certainly been there, there has been no practical route to implementation.  Now with The Polymath, there is.
The first business model will likely be providing question first, autonomous learning modules for home schooled gifted children.  Over time as both the Polymathic Academies and the market matures, bricks and mortar Academies can be opened as well.
There are four conditions that must be met in order for the Polymathic Academies  to be successful.  They are:
1) Sufficient funds must be raised in order to create an inventory of modules sufficiently large to satisfy initial market requirements.
2) A sufficiently large team of module authors must be recruited and mobilized.
3) Cost effective marketing channels must be created
4) A qualified scientific team must be created that can demonstrate a) traditional educational environments are suboptimal for gifted children, and b) the Polymathic Academies are effective remediation.

In the past none of the four conditions could be satisfied.  However, a robust Leonardo and The Polymath changes that.
1) 4.2 million subscribers to the Polymath should easily meet the $1,070,000 limit on CF Crowdfunding and this should be sufficient to field an initial set of modules.
2) At this time PEN should have about 60,000 members which should be sufficient to recruit enough module authors.
3) The Polymath, Leonardo and Polymathic a, when its built will create marvelous adverting media.
4) Scientific study of the efficacy of the Polymathic Academies can be funded, staffed, executed and reported with PEN, The Polymathic Institute, The Polymath, Leonardo and Polymathica.
PEN members who are interested in participating in the Polymathic Academies Work Group will be given the opportunity in the regular PEN communications.  For non-PEN members who want to join for the sake of joining the Polymathic Academies Work Group, join PEN by clicking below.  Because we do not yet have 150 members, your membership fee will be for a lifetime membership.
When you join The Polymathic Institute, you also are a member of Polymathica Enterprise Network.  This sign up is a one time payment for a lifetime membership.

Membership E-mail

More Details
Self Paced and Autonomous Learning
Most children need to be taught.  However, gifted children, actually 125 IQ and above, do not.  In Garth Zietsman's words, 'This category and all those above them don't require assistance to learn. They can find the information and master the methods themselves.'  Actually, our experience is that above an IQ of about 140, children prefer autonomous learning.  It is a basic assumption of The Polymathic Academies. 

An advantage of this approach is that learning is also self paced.  This is important since Marica Gross found that children with IQs over 160 must be radically accelerated or their life prognosis is very poor.  She actually found that gifted children learn faster than the implied rate from their ratio IQ.  A deviation IQ of 160 is a ratio IQ of 178.

So, if a child begins formal education at 5 and has a ratio IQ of 178, one would expect him or her to graduate from high school at 12/1.78+5=11.74 years.  Gross found that they actually learn faster than that and that the greater learning speed can be applied to broader knowledge.  This is our model, though, whatever the learning speed, the distinguishing factor is a facility in and proclivity toward self-paced autonomous learning.

Question First Learning
After the first few years of basic skills learning, similar to Kumon but updated for computer, drill or game options, children will begin a course of education based upon modules that ask a question and expect the child to answer the question through self-study.  A question might be, 'Why did the large dinosaurs go extinct 65 million years ago?'  The child will google, study, go to the library, watch videos.  The module will periodically prompt the child with subquestions, such as 'How often would we expect a asteroid or comet of the size that hit the Earth 65 million years ago to hit the Earth?'

As they work through the module, the students will come to understand the late Cretaceous fauna and flora, paleoclimatology, the asteroid theory, the behavior of ecosystems, etc. and then prepare a final report.  This will be reviewed by an educational specialist.  The purpose is to encourage the child to consider questions without specific reference to a subject.  This is what makes it The Polymath Academies.

Dovetailing with the Current Educational System
Nearly all jurisdictions require that home schooled children have local school district oversight which is usually minor if the jurisdiction requires annual testing.  If the child is appropriate for The Polymath Academies, they will usually advance well ahead of the state requirements.  Still, a general test should be given to the child well in advance of the state requirement to check for significant gaps in the child's knowledge.

This is a preliminary outline for the Polymathic Academies.  As the PEN workgroup forms, it will flesh out a much more detailed description of the educational and business plans.  Some aspects may change significantly.  However, for those who would like to contribute to gifted education, especially for polymathic children, the goal will stay the same.

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