Alisa Teplyakova is a 9-year-old child prodigy from Moscow, who hit the headlines this year. She’s become the youngest student at Moscow State University. She passed her final school exams and enrolled with the psychology faculty. Her father, Evgeniy, is convinced that his daughter is capable of finishing the entire programme in just two years. Evgeniy Teplyakov has come up with a method for homeschooling all seven of his children.
Evgeniy says his programme is a ‘revolution in educational methods and developmental psychology'. Alisa’s story has provoked debate in the Russian media, with many calling it a ‘dangerous experiment’ on a child. Psychology experts warn that pushing children may lead to nervous tics, burnout and trauma.
On the other hand, Sasha Kravchenko, the youngest programmer in Russia, is also a child prodigy. He learned to read and type at 3. At first, Sasha was interested in chemistry, maths but later switched to programming. Sasha is learning to code and takes part in contests with high school students. Despite several successes, Sasha’s mother is determined that he keeps going to school with children his own age, so that he can learn to socialise.
The jury is out on which approach to education is the most effective. The documentary, Child Prodigies: The Price of Success, also finds out what happens to child geniuses when they grow up. Do child prodigies last?