Sunday, July 10, 2011

More to come: Nurture trumps Nature

I know all along I can just fold my arms and wait for others to tell the true story of nurture vs nature for me. To put it down quickly, I am utterly angry with LKY misinformed and stubborn as a mule immovable position that you are either born smart or stupid.

So many of our manpower and education policies are informed by his misguided insistence that nature trumps nurture. As a result, so many local born are denied the opportunities to do better because they are believed to be limited by their inferior genes. Their opportunities are given away to foreign scholars.

Now this is not an easy problem to solve. I have noticed that many intelligent people cannot plumb for the beliefs that fuel these government policies.

Let them go and go and discover for themselves. They are clever enough to do that. Then they will be terribly upset. If the PAP fail to buy in on the ton of science on the side of nurture, they can go and sit on the opposition benches. There will be lots of angry people is an understatement.

This from the above writer is worth quoting for its local context and relevance.

Consider this: There are 179 primary schools in Singapore. This year, more than 40 pupils out of the 564 who were admitted to the Gifted Education Programme (GEP) at Primary 4 came from Nanyang Primary.
Despite making up only about 0.5 per cent of all primary school pupils, those at this school accounted for almost 8 per cent of the entire GEP cohort nationwide.
The school's track record shows this outperformance is by no means a one-off.
Does it mean that Nanyang has cornered the market for natural talent?
Or does it suggest an environment of strong nurturing - in which the school's tradition, pedagogy, teachers and parents all play a key role, propelling its pupils to excel?

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