The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

NUS High School: the next steps

The Gifted Education Officer, assigned to Ainan, seven, has met with the Principal of NUS High School and talked through their "gameplan".

Ainan is to join the school shortly - but, before he does so, he will have to guessed it...more testing. It seems that the opinion of the Principal, who is a chemist himself, and two other chemists, is not enough: Ainan will have to undergo further testing.

Testing is a very Singaporean ritual. Nothing is done without testing. No-one's opinion is enough: everything must be backed up by testing. Examination starts early in Singapore: from Primary One (First Grade) onwards there are tests throughout the year, no significant increment of the child's education going unmarked by testing.

What does this do to a child? Well, many children end up working to the test...that is everything they do is focussed around the tests. As a result, many local children end up with what I would characterize as an incomplete education: they are able to do examinations...and little else.

Already, Ainan has had to go through far too many tests in his young life. Yet, we have no choice if he is to proceed to NUS High: he must undergo examination, once again.

He will join the classes, as a kind of observer since courses have already begun. He will be instructed not to ask questions, in case his questions have already been answered earlier in the course. I understand he will receive some training in how to conduct himself in a lab.

I should point out that the decision to take Ainan on as a student has already been made. The additional testing is just to gather more information.

I will let you know more when I do.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:24 AM 


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