Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Talent Code!

"I have always maintained that, excepting fools,
men do not differ much in intellect, only in zeal and hard work."
Charles Darwin

I re-read another great book over the last few days and, while it didn't tell me anything new, it was another reminder that greatness isn't born, it's grown. The 'Talent Code', by Daniel Coyle, covers similar ground to 'Outliers' by Malcolm Gladwell, 'Bounce' by Matthew Syed and 'Talent is Overrated' by Geoff Colvin. It draws on research to show that ability isn't something we are born with but something that we can create, grow and nurture. This is great news for educators and a wake up call for parents and carers, schools, colleges, universities and governments because it shows again that we can build brilliant everywhere if we have the right toolkit, the right attitudes and the right people. Daniel Coyle talks about 'deep practice', 'ignition' and 'master coaching' as his three keys. Deep practice is about goal setting; chunking up tasks, repetition and learning to feel and is at the heart of the work we have been doing with The Pacific Institute in STEPS and is deeply ingrained in the best National Strategies programmes, like Every Child a Reader. Ignition is about passionate engagement, ownership and belief; lighting the touchpaper in learners and watching the fireworks. Master coaching lies at the heart of great learning and through the work pioneered by my colleague and friend Dirk Gilleard at Education Leeds over ten great years. The interesting thing is that brilliant learning requires all three and Daniel Coyle draws on example after example to show that we can build world class and not just in some places but consistently across the whole learning landscape. Everyone who cares about learning and releasing the magic should read this book!


  1. Thanks Chris, I shall get the book and enjoy the read. You right - every school, every child, everyone has the potential to be brilliant.

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