In his “Trouble with Geniuses, Part I” chapter, Malcolm Gladwell begins to clarify his argument that we continually have trouble understanding outliers. Researchers and an array of commentators often rely too heavily on conventional measures of aptitude to predict the ingredients of those who become extraordinary successes. For example, we label those who perform exceptionally well on IQ tests “geniuses,” and that designation falsely presumes that they will become highly successful.
According to Gladwell, individuals hardly need to be exceptionally intelligent or super smart to do really well. Instead, they merely need to be “smart enough.” And those who are smart enough do not need to attend the very best schools to gain the knowledge and training to win the Nobel Prize in Medicine, for example. They just have to attend a school that is “good enough.”
What two things should we be thinking about if we want to ensure that our local learning environments are “good enough”? Why should we be thinking about those things right now?