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JW 2/17/13 English 20 - Sec.


Ten-thousand, its a number but without its purpose it means nothing. What if I said I wanted to give you that much in dollars or pounds, it might change your feelings on the ten-thousand. Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book, Outliers: The Story of Success - fundamentally Gladwell spoke of this number as the magic number. Gladwell talks about key components that make up what his position is on those who are not only successful but outliers. The dedication and perseverance they had while also being supported, gave the perfect equation that allowed them to be successful. It was apparent to see this within the Asian culture. Because of the amount of time that was spent on their schooling cultivating stronger study habits, ultimately preparing them to be successful. If the culture you live in provides the proper support, the idea of intelligence isnt the underlying principal to become successful; but hard work, endurance and the magic number of ten-thousand hours. Knowledge Is Power Program, KIPP started in the mid 1990s as an experimental public middle school. (p 250) The school was structured around how culture can influence the education students receive. All my friend now are from KIPP. (p. 267) This statement was made by a KIPP student Marita. Marita is from a single-parent home and her mother whom never went to college wants to make sure Marita has the best. (p. 263) Marita used to go to parochial school and her mother heard about KIPP and wanted her to go there. (p. 263) Due to the overwhelming interest to attend the school, they have a lottery (p. 251) for acceptance into the school as well as interviewing possible students. (p. 263) Gladwell was able to give examples that circumstances shouldn't deter educational opportunities regardless of socioeconomic conditions. One of the things KIPP realized was that if you take an average day, and you take out lunch and recess, our children are spending fifty to sixty percent more time learning than the traditional public school student. (p. 261) It seems counterintuitive but we do things at a slower pace and

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as a result we get through a lot more. Theres a lot more retention, better understanding of the material. (p. 262) KIPP is, rather, an organization that has succeeded by taking the idea of cultural legacies seriously. (p. 252) Though upon closer examination, cultural legacies turn out to be powerful. (p. 170) Understanding the culture he or she was a part of, and who their friends and families were having to appreciate the idea that the values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are. (p. 11) Gladwell provides the socially excepted definition of success as it being a simple function of individual merit and that the world in which we all grown up and the rules we choose to write as a society don't matter at all. (p. 33) Yet that is true only in what you except to believe, success is the result of what sociologists like to call accumulative advantage. (p. 30) Gladwell explains the intricate process for how rice is cultivated from planting, grooming and harvesting. Farmers solicit the support of friends and family during harvest. (p. 226) His purpose of explaining rice farmers was to show how the culture was. So rice farmers improved their yields by becoming smarter, by being better managers of their own time, and by making better choices; rice agriculture is skill oriented. (p. 233) Throughout history, not surprisingly, the people who grow rice have always worked harder than almost any other kind of farmer. (p. 233) Gladwell mentions a Berkeley math professor, Alan Schoenfeld, who did a study of students and watched them solve math problems. (p. 239) The one most memorable student Professor Schoenfeld had was Renee. Renee wasnt a bright math scholar or phenomenal at math, what Renee had was tenacity and persistence. We sometimes think of being good at mathematics as innate ability. You either have it or you dont. But to Schoenfeld, its not so much ability as attitude. Put a bunch of Renee's in a classroom, and give them the space and time to explore mathematics for themselves and you could go a long way. Imagine a country where Renees doggedness is not the exception, but a cultural trait. (p.246) The school year in South Korea is 220 days long and in Japan is 243 days long (p. 260), cultures that believe that the routine to success lies in rising

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before dawn 360 days a year are scarcely going to give their children three straight months off in the summer like they do here in the United States. (p. 260) Just like KIPP students, school starts at seven twenty-five until five p.m., after which they have homework clubs, among other extracurricular activities. (p. 261) The beginning is hard. By the end of the day theyre restless. Part of it is endurance, part of it is motivation. Part of it is good old-fashioned discipline. (p. 261) KIPP has set the tone for the culture at that school. Unlike other public schools, KIPPs culture is similar to the culture of the rice farmers - it was meaningful and the harder you work a rice field, the more it yields. (p. 236) In Western agriculture the opposite is true. Unless the wheat or corn fields are left fallow every few years, the soil becomes exhausted. The hard labor of spring planting and fall harvesting is followed, like clockwork, by the slower pace of summer and winter. The reformers applied this logic to the cultivation of young minds. A mind must be cultivated but not too much or it would be exhausted. (p. 254) Long summer vacations which is peculiar and distinctive American legacy that has had profound consequences for learning patterns of the students of the present day. (p. 254-5) The school year in the United States is, on average, one-hundred eighty days, while Asian counterparts are are twenty to sixty days longer. (p. 260) Gladwell talks about the achievement gap distinguished from privileged students over non-privileged and that the only difference between is what happens during summer vacation. (p. 256) A Johns Hopkins University sociologist Karl Alexander tracked progress of over five-hundred plus first graders and followed them for the first five years, the study broke down the socioeconomics of the students from low, middle and high classes. (p. 255) What their testing found was the scores of the students varied slightly for overall learning, yet they then broke down the testing for the school year from September until June. The totals didnt vary much, what was significant was the test taken when students first came back from summer vacation, the scores from the low and privileged differed very much. (p. 258) The
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hypothesis presented could be with privilege and how it effects learning. What they found was the way privileged children learned while they were not in school. (p. 258) When it comes to it, poor children learn nothing when school is not in session. (p. 258) Schools work, the only problem with school, for the children who aren't achieving, is that there isn't enough of it. (p. 29) Gladwell used a study conducted by sociologist Annette Lareau, to see wether or not the socioeconomics of children regardless of their ethnicity would dictate their upbringing. (p. 102) What was discovered was that the parenting styles of the wealthier varied from the poorer. Wealthier parents were heavily involved in their childrens free time, shuttling them from one activity to the next; while the poorer children made up their own games playing with siblings or children in the neighbored. (p. 102) The University of Michigan decided to look closely at how the law schools minority students had fared after they graduated. (p. 85) Richard Lempert, one of the authors of the Michigan study said I think our expectation was that we would find a half - or two-thirds-full glass, that they had not done as well as the white students but nonetheless a lot were quite successful. But we were completely surprised. We found that they were doing every bit as well. There was no place we saw any serious discrepancy. (p. 85) Minority students aren't less qualified. They're just as successful as white students. (p. 85) If you work hard enough and assert yourself and use your mind and imagination, you can share the world to your desire (p. 151) In chapter five of the book, Gladwell uses unfavorable adjectives from economic depression, to ethnic segregation and a demographically based skill set to describe how a group of people used their culture and adversity to their advantage. Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. (p. 150) Jewish doctors and lawyers did not become professionals in spite of their humble origins. They became professionals because of their humble origins. (p. 153) Ten-thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert, in anything. (p, 40) Ten-thousand hours is the magic number of greatness. (p. 41) The culture created by

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those described in chapter five set the tone that with hard work, endurance and your ten-thousand hours anything is possible. Marita has had to do the same because the cultural legacy she had been given does not match her circumstances either, not when middle to upper-middle class families are using weekends and summer vacation to push their children ahead. Her community does not give her what she needs. So what she does is give up her weekends and friends -- all the elements of her old world -- and replace them with KIPP. (p. 266) Everything we have learned in Outliers says that success follows a predictable course. It is not the brightest who succeed. Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities -- and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them. (p. 267) To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success, with a society that provides opportunities for all. (p. 268) Marita just needed a chance. And look at the chance she was given! Someone brought a little bit of the rice paddy to the South Bronx and explained to her the miracle of meaningful work. (p. 269)

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