László Polgár (born 11 May 1946) is a Hungarian chess teacher and educational psychologist. He is the father of the famous Polgár sisters: Zsuzsa, Zsófia, and Judit, whom he raised to be chess prodigies, with Judit and Zsuzsa becoming the best and second-best female chess players in the world, respectively. [From Wikipedia]
László Polgár was a Hungarian psychologist who believed that “genius is made not born.” He decided to test his theory by running an experiment to raise his three daughters to be geniuses. They didn’t go to school. When she was four years old, his eldest daughter discovered a chess board in the house, and László began to teach her. Within 6 months, she was winning against adults. After a year, she beat her father. All three daughters became chess prodigies, traveling to international championships. One was the best female chess player in the world and another took second place. Through László Polgár’s experiment we learn that all children have great potential if only we invest in them.
"It is very important that the child likes what they are doing; only then will it be possible to inspire a long period of fruitful labor."
"The fact that I did not send my daughters to school is, of course, connected to the fact that I hold an unfavorable opinion of it. I criticize contemporary schools because they do not educate for life, they equalize everyone to a very low level, and in addition, they do not tolerate the talented and those who diverge from the average.
Let us take this step by step, and start with your first remark: schools do not educate for life. Is the old Latin saying “One learns not for the sake of school, but of life” pointless?
Contemporary schools are separate from real life in that they function sort of as laboratories. There is no link with domestic or political or local public life or the everyday cares of living one’s life on the one hand, and school on the other.
My daughters, who have never visited a school, grew up much more in the context of real life. Contemporary schools do not promote a love of learning. They do not inspire to great achievements; they raise neither autonomous people nor communally-oriented ones...
The teacher cannot “tailor” the study material for most of the students’ individual needs. So, they cannot make each child work to their potential. Too often they must make the whole class mechanically repeat more or less identical tasks.”
Published originally as Laszlo Polgar: Nevelj zsenit!, Budapest, 1989
Interviewer: Endre Farkas
Esperanto translation by Jozefo Horvath, Budapest, 2004
Translated from Esperanto by Gordon Tisher, Vancouver, 2017