Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Outliers – The Story of Success’

 Malcolm Gladwell

I had the had opportunity to hear Malcolm Gladwell’s keynote on his then recently published book ‘The Tipping Point’ at NECC 2004 in New Orleans. LTS had taken 10 ICT Masterclassers to the event as part of a study visit to see what was happening in the world of educational technology beyond Scotland. We all really enjoyed watching this great storyteller hold an audience of 10,000 absolutely spellbound.

His latest book ‘Outliers – The Story of Success’  is very accessible, he really knows how to craft a story. From an educational perspective some of his themes are very interesting and make this a very worthwhile read:

  •  The 10,000 hour rule  – I think has resonance with all learning from languages and maths to playing a musical instrument
  • The importance of the month in which you are born – what a difference a year makes when you are starting school aged 4.5 rather than 5.5 years old!
  • The language of mathematics, school holidays and much more…

His main message is around the often unacknowledged factors that lie behind high achievement. As always with with a book like this the reader is left with more questions than answers – Gladwell does not pretend to be a scientist (or even a social scientist). Nonetheless this is a thought provoking book and a lot of fun to read.

Gladwell is is going to be speaking in Glasgow in June and I am really looking forward to another evening in the company of one of the world’s best public speakers.

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