NCBI ROFL: Education: Solved.

By ncbi rofl | December 10, 2009 4:00 pm

Replacing education with psychometrics: how learning about IQ almost-completely changed my mind about education.

“I myself am a prime example of the way in which ignorance of IQ leads to a distorted understanding of education (and many other matters). I have been writing on the subject of education–especially higher education, science and medical education–for about 20 years, but now believe that many of my earlier ideas were wrong for the simple reason that I did not know about IQ… Since IQ and personality are substantially hereditary and rankings (although not absolute levels) are highly stable throughout a persons adult life, this implies that differential educational attainment within a society is mostly determined by heredity and therefore not by differences in educational experience. This implies that education is about selection more than enhancement, and educational qualifications mainly serve to ‘signal’ or quantify a person’s hereditary attributes. So education mostly functions as an extremely slow, inefficient and imprecise form of psychometric testing. It would therefore be easy to construct a modern educational system that was both more efficient and more effective than the current one. I now advocate a substantial reduction in the average amount of formal education and the proportion of the population attending higher education institutions. At the age of about sixteen each person could leave school with a set of knowledge-based examination results demonstrating their level of competence in a core knowledge curriculum; and with usefully precise and valid psychometric measurements of their general intelligence and personality (especially their age ranked degree of Conscientiousness). However, such change would result in a massive down-sizing of the educational system and this is a key underlying reason why IQ has become a taboo subject. Miller suggests that academics at the most expensive, elite, intelligence-screening universities tend to be sceptical of psychometric testing; precisely because they do not want to be undercut by cheaper, faster, more-reliable IQ and personality evaluations.”

Thanks to Bruce for today’s ROFL!


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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing").Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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