'Geniuses' not so exceptional, after all

21st April 2000 at 01:00
ORDINARY people can learn lessons from geniuses, who are not as exceptional as they are made out to be, according to a developmental psychologist.

Professor Michael Howe, from Exeter University and the author of Genius Explained, told the BPS conference that the talents of genius stem from extensive training, a firm sense of direction and the ability to concentrate on problems for long perods. "Although geniuses are truly remarkable, their feats are neither miraculous nor magical," he said. Learners should be aware that geniuses do need to work hard to achieve, and that those who find it takes time to learn skills can eventually excel. Albert Einstein, often characterised as a school failure, in fact did well and came from a family with a strong scientific background.


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