Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Today's Theme: Happiness

Most kids would not hesitate to answer this question with a resounding "Yes!," thinking that it's their exit from school and back to their video game consols, iPods, iPads, iPhones, iTouches, WOW (World of Warcraft), football, basketball, dance, swimming, acting, drawing, animating, or sleeping. After all, how many people truly enjoy studying? 

From a philosophical perspective, the answer to this question depends on the meaning of the concept of "happiness." 


The following list represents 8 types of activities. Assume that all 8 of these activities will be included in a "happy" life. Review the 8 and rank them from 1 to 8 according to how important you think they are for living a happy life. 1 represents "most important," whereas 8 is "least important." 

a. sitting in a dentist's chair
b. eating your favorite food
c. playing a gam
d. reading a book
e. sitting deep in thought with other students
f. having fun with a friend
g. helping a classmate with homework
h. discussing an interesting topic

Granted, few would put (a) sitting in a dentist's chair as 1 = most important to living a happy life... 

Until you think about why you go to the dentist, and then you'll get some insight into the meaning of happiness. Once you rank the other activities, you will begin to appreciate why the concept of happiness is very difficult for philosophers to define. 

According to John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873), happiness can be defined as the greatest degree of pleasure for the greatest number of people. Mill called this principle utilitarianism. However, happiness understood as the greatest degree of pleasure also includes the least amount of pain. Mill stated that not all pleasures were identical in value and that some were more desirable than others (e.g., the pleasures of learning and conversation). 

If Mill is correct, "happiness" and "fun" are not the same thing. 

While happiness requires understanding what makes us "feel" happy, to increase the total amount of happiness on the planet we have to help other people. Everyone wants to be happy, and if you want to live in a "happy" world, then it is in your best interest, as well as the world's interest (utilitarianism) to help others find happiness. 

Group Discussion: 

1. Happiness includes feeling content about your life and doing good things for others. Do you agree or disagree? 

2. Compare your rankings with a classmate to see if your rankings differ, understand their reasons for ranking the activities in a different order and determine if their viewpoint is one that would make you reconsider why you ranked the activities as you did. 

Rated PG-13 
Parental discretion advised
(aka: fast-forward the inappropriate stuff) 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Cyborb-Students have a socio-technical relationship to the world - a post human approach to learning in a vastly growing virtual landscape. 

In an era where computer simulation of local environments is becoming more the norm than the exception, our kids have a database of information about the world that far surpasses that of their predecessors, namely us. 

Ordinary reality no longer captivates the young, digital mind. Nature doesn't "look as good" as Photoshopped images of external reality. External reality still exists, it just doesn't captivate the digital mind in the same way that artificial environments made up of visual enhancements do.

So, how do we compete? How do we cyberpunk experiences and information into bits of sociotechnical relevant data without losing its organic context? 

The answer lies in the bringing together a synergistic relationship between self-organization and postmodern science education. Experimentation has long been the way we shape our minds and pedagogical stories we mutually construct. 

Wandering in the vast outback of Australia, discovering Aboriginal groups liberates our minds from established meanings and ways of speaking - as does exploring the trees in our own backyard or neighborhood park. 

Flexibility and communication in all its inherent forms (hand signals, facial expressions, arm movements, pointing) emerges in the absence of Google Translate and virtual tools. 

Unfortunately, there's an immaturity associated with lack of experience that affects the creative force of keeping an open mind. When the mind is only fed virtual images, the mind cannot recognize novel concepts, becoming desensitized. 

It is the field of experimentation where the virtual classroom (i.e., the traditional, post-industrial school model) cannot compete. Laboratories are mostly designed for repeating experiments, proving their efficacy. While some "new" work goes on, there is a tendency to get caught in the methodology of educational research, which is disconnected from the real environment. 

Unless we want to raise a new generation of Cyborb-Students and Cyborb-Citizens, who fail to disparate forms of data unless they are predefined by computer coding language, we must provide an environment whereby students can get their "hands dirty" in the uncovering of knowledge that ultimately constitutes and contributes to the data we use to construct and feed our systems.  

The Nomadic Soul

We are all habituated learners, but it is discovery that lies at the core of our nomadic souls. A way of thinking that propels us toward a new territory, towards a new truth posited not as a solution or an imposition of a higher truth, but rather the provocation to problematize, to think first of all the truth of problems than of solutions. 

Leading thought away from predefined, canned solutions allows us to deconstruct what we've learned so that we can "learn" to see anew. The politics of critique and enlightenment, as well as the problems of authority vanish when we learn to think for ourselves. Our input becomes relevant, offering a distinctive viewpoint to any given problem. 

The ability to distinguish our thoughts from those of others is more difficult than one may think, in particular with the flux of canned information moving back and forth in our controlled society. 

Rather than leading students toward solutions and answers, as hoped for by established curricula, the nomadic soul is one that focuses on its creative function and the art of problem solving and critical analysis. 

Discovery or Nomadic Education (NE) suspends temporarily formal laws and norms. This suspension of predefined answers allows students to conceive of their own questions to problems they see or encounter. While formal learning can enlighten our thoughts, we must be allowed to think for ourselves, first. 

The world is unpredictable and unknowable. To think differently is to be held hostage within a rigid thought system defined by someone else's subjective experience, which may differ from our own. 

The path less traveled is uniquely connected to pedagogy, as seen historically with the youth hostel movement, which began in 1909 by Richard Schirrmann, a German schoolteacher, and Wilhelm Munker, a conservationist, who saw the need for overnight accommodation for school groups. 

Today, there are over 4000 hostels worldwide. Hostelling International defines its mission as:

To promote the education of all young people of all nations, but especially young people of limited means, by encouraging in them a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside and an appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities in all parts of the world, as an ancillary thereto, to provide hostels or other accommodation in which there shall be no distinctions of race, nationality, color, religion, gender, class or political opinions and thereby to develop a better understanding of their fellow men, both at home and abroad. 

The Nomadic soul pays homage to exploring how we're all connected rather than how we are separated. NE is a self-orgainzing process involving the constitution of an assemblage of components, relations with other assemblages, and the analysis of their effects on the constitution of subjectivity. 

In other words, it's a subject-group exploration that produces a fresh, new way of seeing and living that strengthens rather than inhibits cognitive thinking skills we value in society and in education. NE continues until a student is "ready" to choose their place in society whereby they can contribute the most based on what they've seen, heard, learned, smelled, and intuited from their many travels. 

Just as the adult citizen, from time to time, needs to "get away from it all" to put things into perspective, nomadic educational approaches put an entire world into perspective so that young minds can best see where and how they fit in an ever-changing world. 

The Nomadic Vision

The nomadic vision carries us across many thresholds towards destinations that offer novel, unpredictable experiences. It is images, not linguistic propositions, that are part and parcel to the very creation of concepts. 

The explication (analyze and develop an idea or principle in detail) of non-linguistic signs, such as memories and images, introduce new learning opportunities for the mind. 

While the educated traveler researches locations prior to exploring them, there's an element of discovery that must be left to "chance encounter" for the nomadic explorer if a true "nomadic" vision is to emerge. 

Our brains have long-since created, understood, and deciphered signs and hieroglyphs. Learning is a means of unfolding the elements inherent in these visual signs. A nomadic-approach to learning is a progressive exploration of signs and their significance to ourselves and our ever-changing place in the world. 

Deleuze suggests that genuine education proceeds through a deregulation of the senses and a shock that compels thought against its will to go beyond its ordinary operations. 

The relationship between novel visual input and reward-based pedagogy opens up conventional sequences of images and texts and their subsequent re-assemblage of the disparate components in productively disruptive juxtapositions, which fail to foster creativity and much as they fail to generate solutions to problems we encounter in everyday life. 

Travel offers infinite learning that differentiates itself by its inherent condition of possibility rather than by its inherent challenges. Learning is a process of immersing oneself in a problem and then seeking out various questions and solutions that the problem makes available to thought. Closing off minds within the confines of four walls might be the orthodox educational solution to our need for "babysitters" but it does not satisfy us as individuals, young or old. Children complain that school is "boring" and parents complain that their children are not learning about the things that "really matter." 

In a world of overworked parents, how do we make time to travel, much less afford the trips? The answer does not lie in traveling to exotic locations as much as it does in the Nomadic Vision: 


The inherent nature of discovery is the finding out of information. The unearthing of artifacts. The uncovering of truth's concealed. The realization of a new culture. The recognition of a new methodology. The revelation of your own approach to learning. The disclosure of a hidden document. The invention of a new gadget. The origination of a new idea. The devising of a schedule or itinerary. The pioneering of a new way of thinking. The finding of a new route to school. The breakthrough of a new way of thinking or seeing the world. 

The Nomadic plane of impermanence forces us to escape entrapment in rigid boundary conditions in the space of education. 

Have suitcase will travel...

The Nomadic Environment

Philosophers have long emphasized the active nature of perception and the intimate relation between action and cognition. Essentially, cognitive behavior results from our interaction with our environments. 

Our environments are filled with a plethora of stimuli. To "discover" them, we have to constantly discriminate between relevant and irrelevant features. Many of our actions are based off of sensory reactions to inputs, which reflect a specific task, i.e., sensorimotor relations (laws) that are learned and reinforced via experience. 

Scientists have studied long-term changes of sensorimotor neural representations obtained during habit learning. The part of the brain responsible for this learning is the corpus striatum (part of the basal ganglia of the brain - caudate and lentiform nuclei), which receives direct cortical input. 

Unsupervised learning happens in the cortex while reinforcement learning occurs in the basal ganglia. The cortex pre-processes data to yield a representation that is suitable for reinforcement learning by the basal ganglia. 

The seven deep brain nuclei of the basal ganglia are involved in a variety of crucial brain functions and are tightly linked to the dopaminergic neuromodulatory system, which plays a fundamental role in predicting future rewards and punishment. 

Essentially, reward-based learning models are guided by trial and error, as the brain continually maps (makes connections) between states and actions that yield the maximal future reward. 

Reward-based learning is most complimented the Nomadic learning environment, where information changes based on geological location. It's akin to learning how to "think on our feet."

Our brains easily learn goal-relevant features within a single unified framework, but when these models fail to discriminate between action-relevant and irrelevant features, they hinder the brain's learning architecture to the 2-dimensional plane. Once the sensorimotor laws have been learned and the visual features for navigation have been captured, we are able to navigate.

Notwithstanding, an educational model that incorporates new geological locations offers a clear advantage to fine tuning our ability to learn and adapt. Variety is a fundamental experience in exploring different sensory channels. Stagnant learning environments that are geologically limited have too narrow a field-of-view and do not make use of the brain's learning circuitry, which easily adapts to new inputs, resulting in increased cognitive functioning.

We Love Technology, but Enough's Enough!

Okay, admittedly, we own nearly every desirable gadget under the sun. Some we purchased in the name of education, some in the name of rewards, some, just because they were très kewl. 

However, lately, we've felt as if we have technological poisoning. We have all spent far too much time on our computers and we can feel those effects in increased lethargy, body stiffness and overall physical discomfort (i.e., we feel burned out). 

In an information age society, the computer acts as a tool to bring in information. However, when we find ourselves sitting there for extended periods of time "thinking" rather than utilizing the computer for its intended purpose, our sense of balance and discipline is naturally called into question. 

Given our travels, we get much from our computers. We have access to friends and family, bank accounts, school, YouTube, iTunes, and the list goes on... 

Computers offer a rainbow of experiences that contradict with our ability maintaining overall balance in our lives. We read on electronic devices, we compose or write on electronic devices, we eat near our electronic devices, and we overexpose our biological systems to electronic devices - which seems to result in a complete washout of our physical systems. 

Nomadic, exploratory education requires exploring - getting off the computer and out into the field. Technology restricts our physical movements. Foucault's disciplinary societies operate through continual control and instant communication, which isn't always good. It's important to think before we speak (and communicate). There's value to allowing thoughts to develop in our brains before we share them.

Institutions are spreading through captive, tuned-in audiences. We are creating a culture of worker-schoolkids or bureaucrat-students willingly chained to their desks (laptops or cell phones). Redefining educational models that result in "glued to the screen students" are not models redesigned. They simply offer a new tool along with "new" ways of stuffing in "old" information. 

A truly unique educational model looks to varied experiences through travel and exploration of unique locations, via crafts and construction or cooking.  An individual's hometown can serve as a new location if they haven't seen all that their town or city has to offer. 

Take the touristic approach and explore your hometown and I bet you'll be amazed by what you see and learn. More importantly, your kids won't be bored. They'll be on the lookout for new opportunities and new ways of thinking about things they have long dismissed as "old news". 

Turning exams into continuous assessments turns education itself into a business. In this manner, new educational models that are currently being designed are simply replacing the post-industrial factory mindset. These models are supported by the elusive and abstract concept of continuing education and are becoming the means to providing society with a continuous stream of human capital for the knowledge economy. 

When human capital replaces humans, we have to step back and recognize that we have gone from being an individual to a dividual, a market statistic, part of a sample, an item in a data bank. 

Getting off the computer, no matter how much we love the darn thing, disrupts the prevailing order of things by increasing the positive effects of exploring and personal, direct sharing, which is novel, unpredictable, unforeseeable, and, oh so, enjoyable. 

Philosophy for Kids

What does it mean to be fair? How do you know who your friends are? What is time? Are you the same person you were five years ago? Can something logical ever not make sense? 

If your student has asked these questions, they are on their way to becoming a philosopher. 

Philosophy addresses issues of primary significance for education ranging from research methodologies to popular culture, to art and creativity, to knowledge structures and learning, to pedagogy, to ethics and moral education, to the problematic identity and subjectivity. 

There are many benefits to conducting philosophical inquiry. Philosophy is not merely an elusive subject, it is a very real one that offers tangible benefits that sharpen our critical thinking while soothing emotional concerns over highly debated concepts. 

Living in Paris, I learned that philosophical questions are commonly explored in Kindergarten, while in the United States philosophy does not take center stage until high school or beyond. 

The exploration of Nomadic Education constitutes an exercise in educational philosophy. The metaphor of the Nomad, used in the context of global residency, a person who travels from plea to place for cultural edification, is potent as it indicates a dynamic and evolving character beyond the forever-fixed and eternal meanings of context, time, place, subject, or culture. 

While movement of people is difficult to quantify, the act of recording of the journey offers the conscious-minded parent or educator an opportunity to evaluate more frequently the benefits of learning new concepts, meanings and values embodied in nomadic impermanence. 

Geography is notably concerned with its imaginary, forever vanishing, ever-changing line that reaches out towards a horizon. 

Philosophy for the Nomadically-educated child is not about determining what something (or some place) is, but rather, exploring its essence, or being. Nomadic philosophy expresses the meanings inherent in an event, expressed by plotting out a concept on a plane: linking it with its connections, which increase with more geo-minded input. 

The unpredictable connections that are made in the brain while traveling are not necessarily limited to a transmission of the same (i.e., tourist propaganda), but rather are enhanced by the important implications for personal growth that comes from exploring "new" environments. 

As such, a nomadic approach to territorial learning, combined with a general rewards-based model, provides emancipatory potential to students in contrast to striated, traditional, post-industrial educational models. 

Nomadic education pays attention to places (and spaces), retrospectively in terms of memories, and dynamically in terms of forces that are capable of affecting and effecting changes in the student's perceived identity. 

Philosophy for kids cannot be reduced to contemplation, reflection, or communication aimed solely at consensus. It is uniquely a practice of concept creation. 

By incorporating philosophical inquiry as a method of concept creation, the creative - both constructive and expressive - aspect of this inquiry sets the stage for the pedagogy of the concept, which are enhanced by the nomadic mode of learning (through travel and exploration). These concepts combined strengthen learning programs and bring forth an expanded understanding of both value and meaning.  

Stay tuned for Philosophy Lesson Plans that you can explore with your students. Don't worry, you don't have to travel to Africa (unless you want to) as these lessons are not geo-centric (dependent on any one location). Instead, they offer an approach to philosophical, nomadic-type exploration that can be done right at home! 

The WOW Factor in Education, Part V


Human personality is largely affected by left-brain / right-brain balance. Both hemispheres of the brain must be acknowledged in a successful Rewards-based educational program. When rewards are balanced, they enhance the unique or valuable aspects of a solid educational model, including those models for special needs students. 

The WOW begins with the educational model of your choice. If your educational model does not WOW you or your student, consider using our model. 

Click here for more information on the 

The WOW Factor in Education, Part IV


Tangible benefits are the quantifiable aspects of your Rewards-based program, they appeal to the left brain. Tangible benefits include field trips, gadgets, cash rewards, new books, and gift cards. 

Intrinsic benefit are the emotional aspects of your Rewards-based program, they appeal to the right brain. Offering recognition, special privileges, and exclusive access and experiences creates an emotional connection. 

Think of platinum-level frequent-fliers whose miles earned become secondary to the frequent-flier perks: seat upgrades, recognition, expedited check-ins, higher levels of service. 

With respect to intrinsic values, I offer "coaching" sessions to my students whereby they can schedule blocks of time with me (1-hour or 90-minute sessions) to ask my advice on any given topic. 

In these sessions, we work together to better understand a problem. They know beforehand that if we cannot solve the "problem" or "issue" in that session, that we'll continue working on it until we reach an acceptable solution. 

If they are coming to me with a "problem", I ask that they bring with them "two possible solutions" to save me time and to ensure that they are thinking through issues. Often times, they solve the problem on their own without my intervention, which in our Rewards-based program is worthy of a reward. 

When students can demonstrate that they had a problem and solved it, this is an example of critical analysis skills in action. 

My kids pride themselves on their critical thinking abilities, and value them because they've been taught that critical thinking is of far greater value than rote learning. Our rewards are in alignment with the effort expended in any given task. Understanding the difference in effort expended for tasks also helps to maintain balance in rewarding students for their achievement, while simultaneously keeping the parent or teacher within budget (financial or perceived) for rewards they wish to extend. 


The WOW Factor in Education, Part III


The left brain governs the practical. It seeks rewards that are within reach - if not immediately, then within a reasonable time. This obtainability makes rewards based learning seem real. What's more, quickly attainable redemptions can fuel participation momentum: students who actively participate and redeem rewards are more likely to thrive in an educational setting. 

The right brain allows students to dream of far-off goals. Dreams of graduation and of attending a prestigious university will also motivate continued participation. However, dreams of pampering and continual excitement cannot themselves fuel a rewards based program. If all your program "WOW" is off on the horizon, students may not embark on the journey in the first place (it's too far away). 

This is why it is important to maintain a balanced rewards vs. needs-based program. In this way, parents and educators can better incorporate a continuum of reward "costs", allowing students to recognize "which" efforts yielded "which" results. This results in pruning and optimizing synaptic reward connections in the brain. While caution must be exercised to not get your Reward-based program out of balance (too many short-term, meaningless rewards vs. long-term unachievable ones), a well-balanced program allows students to connect more naturally and fine tune their minds toward a rewards-based society, in which we live. 

Longer-term and shorter-term rewards embedded into this type of educational program speak to each side of the brain - and keep the student from experiencing "highs" and "lows" in their academic careers. 

The WOW Factor in Education, Part II


Perception is reality, folks. Students may not actually want functional rewards, but their left brain will compel them to tell you - and themselves - that they do. So, include them in the mix. 

Behavior is also reality, and perception and behavior are sometimes at odds. Generally, research into educational models cannot effectively tell you how student's perceptions of value relate to their brain. Students will tell you that they want Straight A's or No Tests, but such stated preferences don't usually materialize into behavior. 

Choosing functional rewards has all the enticement of receiving a Book Report back only to have scored a C when you were expecting an A. 

In general, students assign a greater value to things they can't easily quantify. A student rewarded with a field trip, limousine pickup, or day at the spa, will assign value to that reward based largely on perception, which is likely to be high, and far greater than the cost. 

When it comes to recognition, rewards become tricker because students have already exhibited the behavior - as such, the immediate cost is not as prominent in their minds. Reward has to be part of the expressed or declared experience. 

Project-based learning activities are naturally designed to include celebration, something the students are aware of when they begin a task. 

Reward Banquets, for example, can be included in the curriculum. Working toward tangible, but longer-term goals keeps student expectations (perceived needs) high, and more easily attained (attention spans).

Timing is important, otherwise, as I mentioned, the actions have already been largely forgotten. When you design a curriculum with a celebration at the end, students respond favorably to the experience and most importantly, remember that it is important to celebrate milestones as they occur. Otherwise, it becomes a race to the finish - just to get it over with. 

Rewards in the upper spectrum of this chart are more difficult to quantify, which requires some experimentation on behalf of the parent or teacher to optimize a motivating value proposition - but it's well worth it! 

The WOW Factor in Education

In this post: 
  • The difference between functional and aspirational rewards
  • What rewards drive student behavior
  • Why your child's education should consider the human brain

If you WOW a child, you hook 'em. Naturally, when a child feels "wow'ed" they want more. When you capture their imagination, you inspire them to dream. However, dreaming is not the only thing going on in a child's mind. To construct an effective reward-based learning environment, you'll need to look inside their heads to balance the input between the brain's two hemispheres. 

The left brain governs logical, sequential, rational, analytical, and objective thinking. The right brain governs intuitive, holistic, subjective, creative, and "big-picture" thinking. If you want to WOW a kid, you've got to ignite both sides of their brain and help them keep stay in balance, cognitively speaking.

Here's 5 key areas of balance to consider: 


The left brain values the functional. Rewards that fulfill needs pass the "value-detector" test kids apply to any new piece of information. Wow - that's cool! 

The right brain values the aspirational. Rewards that fulfill dreams pass the "splurge-detector" test: WOW! I couldn't learn this anywhere else. They must really appreciate me. 

Consider the chart above. Reward driven needs are at the bottom of the scale. Functional rewards are not cool, and their perceived value is generally smaller. At the top of the scale, rewards are driven by desire. Aspirational rewards can be emotionally compelling, and their perceived value tends to be much greater. 

Take for example: school supplies.

Every parent has gone out with a list of school supplies, returning home with bags filled with notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, white-out, calculators, crayons, glue, and so on. You hand the supplies over to your kids who smile, thank you, and shove it all in a pencil case or backpack - rarely ever given any further thought (unless they have lost something they need when the time arises). 

However, in a rewards-based program you wait to make these purchases until you need them. Imagine, if you will, working your way through Pre-Algebra with your student only to realize that it is time to introduce a scientific calculator.

First things first, solve a few equations by hand to teach the child how to solve the equation on their own. Then, once they have mastered this step, suggest investigating the benefits of the use of a calculator. 

How many steps would be involved? Which steps could be done for you? Could a calculator increase your efficiency and efficacy? What could you do with the extra time you save?

Now, you ask your student to investigate which calculators options are available. Which stores have them in stock and who has the best price (compare/contrast)? Don't forget to have them Google for customer reviews and coupon codes or if it is a smaller company, call and ask what discounts are available to students. Once they have done the legwork, it's time to go out and buy the calculator. 

Once the calculator is purchased, time should be allotted to learn how the new calculator works. Check if there are steps that save time. This is a class in itself. If we do not demonstrate that we believe an item (or concept) has a value or is of worth, how can we expect our students to see the value?

This calculator is now more than simply a part of a 'Back to School kit' - it is a valuable tool needed to solve equations and save your student valuable time. This approach is an example of a rewards-based program.

I used to rush through these types of activities and purchases, thinking... If I give my kids everything they need, they'll have it when the time arises - NOT!  Usually, the item has been lost or now, in a technological world, there's a newer model available that offers expanded features.

Either way, there's no WOW factor in this type of post-industrial thinking. It is in creating a series of "WOWS" that hooks students into wanting to learn and discover more. While this is only one example, it is one to which many parents can relate. We live in a society whereby we make many purchases based off of the same model above. Society tells us that in order to feel good about ourselves we must make purchases. However, these purchases have to be weighed against the messages we want to send our children. If we want them to value something, we have to demonstrate that we value thoughts and items. This approach not only mirrors how the brain responds to favorable input (by learning faster and easier), but it saves us money, too.

Reward based learning is a guided educational journey for both students and parents, but it takes time. Still, it's well worth the effort because the result is a student that has a stronger sense of value. That isn't just a gift to the kid, that is a gift to society.

Next post: Students' Perceived Needs and Goals vs. What They Actually Select...


Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Engine of Genius

The concept of genius is more elusive than the concept of intelligence. It is complicated due to its relationship to creativity. While intelligence can be measured on standardized tests, giftedness is reflected in cognitive creative abilities: fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration. 

"How many uses can you think of for a paperclip?" 

Conceiving of this question is an example of gifted query. Responding to it by detailing out a long list, writing an analytical thesis on the morality of paper clips in Western Society, or creating a paper clip sculpture might be something the enthusiastic genius would attempt. 

Unless they're bored...

In which case, answers may vary: 

Giftedness does not go away. It is a state of being that must be continually addressed and subsequently managed throughout the course of one's lifetime.