Photo credit: LA Johnson/NPR
By Anya Kamenetz
Todd Rose dropped out of high school with D- grades. At 21, he was trying to support a wife and two sons on welfare and minimum wage jobs.
Today he teaches educational neuroscience at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He’s also the co-founder of The Center for Individual Opportunity, a new organization devoted to “the science of the individual and its implications for education, the workforce, and society.”
In other words, Todd Rose is not your average guy. But neither are you.
In fact, he argues, absolutely no one is precisely average. And that’s a big problem, he tells NPR Ed: “We’ve come to embrace a way of thinking about ourselves as people that was intentionally designed to ignore all individuality and force everything in reference to an average person.”
Admissions offices, HR departments, banks and doctors make life-changing decisions based on averages. Rose says that “works really well to understand the system or the group, but it fails miserably when you need to understand the individual, which is what we need to do.”
Rose talked with us about his new book: The End Of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness.
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