Given the lack of fit between gifted students and their schools, it is not surprising that such students often have little good to say about their school experience. In one study of 400 adul who had achieved distinction in all areas of life, researchers found that three-fifths of these individuals either did badly in school or were unhappy in school. Few MacArthur Prize fellows, winners of the MacArthur Award for creative accomplishment, had good things to say about their precollegiate schooling if they had not been placed in advanced programs.
Anecdotal ( 名人轶事 ) reports support this. Pablo Picasso, Charles Darwin, Mark Twain, Oliver Gold smith, and William Butler Yeats all disliked school. So did Winston Churchill, who almost failed out of Harrow, an elite British school. About Oliver Goldsmith, one of his teachers remarked, "Never was so dull a boy." Often these children realize that they know more than their teachers, and their teachers often feel that these children are arrogant, inattentive, or unmotivated.
Some of these gifted people may have done poorly in school because their, gifts were not scholastic. Maybe we can account for Picasso in this way. But most fared poorly in school not because they lacked ability but because they found school unchallenging and consequently lost interest. Yeats described the lack of fit between his mind and school: "Because I had found it difficult to attend to
anything less interesting than my own thoughts, I was difficult to teach.
" As noted earlier, gifted children of all kinds tend to be strong-willed nonconformists. Nonconformity and stubbornness (and Yeatss level of arrogance and self-absorption) are like ly to lead to Conflicts with teachers.
When highly gifted students in any domain talk about what was important to the development of their abilities, they are far more likely to mention their families than their schools or teachers. A writing prodigy (神