We Share Ideas Outliers Outliers are men and women who do things out of the ordinary To understand why certain people become outliers we must look at factors beyond innate talent. We must also look at: –Where they were reared –When they grew up –The culture they belonged to –The characteristics passed down by their forebears
We Share Ideas The Ecology of Organisms The tallest tree in the forest probably came from a hardy acorn, but other factors also contributed to its height. Such factors as: –No other trees blocked sunlight from getting through to the tree –The soil around the tree was rich in nutrients –No animals chewed through its bark when it was a young tree –No one cut it down before it matured
We Share Ideas The Effect of Birth Dates An analysis of a highly successful Canadian hockey team found: –40% of the players were born between January and March –30% were born between April and June –20% were born between July and September –10% were born between October and December
We Share Ideas The Effect of Birth Dates In Canada the eligibility cut off for age-class (club) hockey is January 1 –Those players born early in the year are bigger and more mature than those born later in the year –As a consequence, the older players perform better and are picked for advanced placement where they receive better coaching and more playing time
We Share Ideas The Effect of Birth Dates In the U.S., the cutoff for almost all non-school baseball leagues is July 31 –As a result, more major league players are born in August than in any other month
We Share Ideas Summary of the Effects of Age If you make a decision about who is talented and who is not at an early age and You separate the “talented” from the “untalented” and provide the talented ones with superior experiences You will give a huge advantage to those born shortly after the cutoff date
We Share Ideas The “Matthew Effect” “For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance. But from him that hath not shall be taken away even which he hath.” The rich have a natural advantage The best students get the best teachers and the most attention
We Share Ideas Accumulative Advantage Some people start off a little bit superior to their peers This initial small difference leads to more opportunities, which makes them more superior, which leads to more opportunities, etc., etc., etc.
We Share Ideas Gates’ Advantage Parents – Wealthy Lawyer/Banker’s daughter 7 th grade - Private School/Computer club 1968 - Mother’s Club bought computer terminal for mainframe in downtown Seattle U. Wash – Computer Center Corp. – leased mainframe time (founder’s son @ same school) ISI – Free time for working on payroll app TRW – Independent study semester, writing code for Bonneville power station app Dropped out of Harvard – had 7 years’ programming experience
We Share Ideas The 10,000 Hour Rule The closer psychologists look at the careers of outliers, the less important is innate talent and the more important is preparation Ten thousand hours is the magic number for expertise in most areas Before they became famous, the Beatles played eight hours a day, seven days a week in a club in Hamburg
We Share Ideas The Effect of Timing The most important date in the history of the personal computer revolution is January 1975 when the Altair 8800 was introduced If you were too old for the personal computer revolution in 1975 you were probably born before 1952 If you were born after 1959 you were probably too young Leaders of the personal computer revolution: –Bill Gates – 1955 (Microsoft) –Paul Allen – 1953 (Microsoft #2) –Steve Ballmer – 1956 (Microsoft #24) –Steve Jobs – 1955 (Apple) –Eric Schmidt – 1955 (PARC, Sun (Java), Novell, Google)
We Share Ideas The Effect of Parentage Wealthy parents can afford to give their children opportunities that less wealthy parents cannot Poor children have an inherent disadvantage in school – a disadvantage that, in fact, widens every year
We Share Ideas Academics vs. Socioeconomics Karl Alexander, Sociologist at Johns Hopkins University 640 First Graders, Baltimore - 1982 California Achievement Test (math/reading)
We Share Ideas Year-End Test Scores Socioecon Class 1 Yr2 Yr3 Yr4 Yr5 Yr Low329375397433461 Middle348388425467497 High361418460566534 Hi/Low 3273 2x Low5546303325 Middle6943344127 High6039342823 Progress/Year 189 184 Totals
We Share Ideas Over Summer Vacation (reading only) Socioecon Class 1 st 2nd3rd4th Low-3.67-1.702.742.89 Middle-22.214.171.1242.34 High15.389.2214.5113.38.26 7.09 52.49 Total Why?
We Share Ideas Solution? More School Average School Year –USA: 180 days –South Korea: 220 –China: 230 –Japan: 243
We Share Ideas KIPP Academy Mid-90’s – Grades 5-8 @ Lou Gehrig Middle School, South Bronx 7:25 am – 5 pm, Saturday 9 am – 1 pm 90 Minutes of English/day 90 Minutes of Math/day (2 hr/day in 5 th grade) 95% at or above grade level in math 90% get private HS Scholarships 86% to college (1 st generation for many)
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