Nature or nurture? What is more important in the life of a student

Acquiring knowledge is a process that spans across birth to death for a human being. Each individual navigates learning in their own way, depending on the circumstances and experiences they go through. The period of formal education falls between 6-18 years of age for most of us. During that time, we are taught concepts based on curriculum delivered through a more or less rigid academic system.

Recently the roles nature and nurture play in a child’s education have been a heated topic of debate. Does the learning pattern of a student depends on their nature or influenced by how they are brought up? Or is it a combination of both these factors? The gaps occurring in educational performance between students is a major issue for the society. The causes for that are being researched relentlessly in social sciences.

What does nature refer to?

The term “nature” in this particular debate encompasses all hereditary and genes factors which influence a person. They affect everything from physical appearance to personality traits we display.

What does nurture refer to?

Nurture refers to all the variables in our environment which shape our mindset and thought process. It includes experiences from childhood, our upbringing, relationships, and the culture surrounding us.

The different perspectives

This is possibly one of the oldest topics that is still being mulled over by psychologists. Does a student’s learning behavior depends on their genetics or environment? Or is it the things they experience which make their performance level differ from each other? 

The great philosophers of old like Descartes and Plato believed that certain attributes are inborn. Or they happen naturally apart from any influence from the environment. Nativists hold the belief that all or most characteristics and behaviors in a person are inherited. Advocates of this perspective also think that human behaviors and characteristics are a result of evolution. Parents hand down the genetic traits which influence the differences making each human unique.

There is another school of thought entertained by popular thinkers like John Locke by the term of tabula rasa. This suggests the mind in its initial stage is reminiscent of a blank canvas. The notion establishes that who we are and the knowledge we possess comes from things we experience.  

The point of view of empiricist leans towards learning being the key element behind behaviors. The theory of behaviorism takes root from empiricism. According to behaviorists all attitudes and actions are linked to conditioning. It is believed by theorists like John B Watson that people can be trained to become anything. It is regardless of any genetic connections.


If a student is capable of achieving tremendous educational success, are they genetically built to do so? Or is it because they have received an environment that is enriching for their mind?

A sample of nativist theory within psychology is the concept brought forward by Chomsky of LAD or language acquisition device. According to it, children are born with the mental capacity to learn and produce language instinctively.

Other learning characteristics are generated from influence in the environment. The behavior of a student can be affected by the parenting style and circumstances they are brought up in. For instance, a child might learn being polite by observing others saying, “thank you” and “please”. But the same child can also acquire aggressive attitude by watching older children behave that way.

The way children are treated in their early age is supposed to have the upper hand in forming their mindset. A student who has been cherished and encouraged to show their full potential is thought to perform well.

But surprisingly that might not be the truth in all cases. For example, an academically brilliant individual walks in for a job interview. They have the required skills with an impressively crafted resume from a CV writing service alongside. But while being tested they fail to show the results expected from them. Circumstances like these occur when a person has not gained the confidence needed from their environment. They may show promise for a long stretch but some disturbing element in their environment can hold them back.

The verdict

The nature vs nurture debate still continues to create controversy among the scholarly masses. However, a great number of academic experts now think that both nurture and nature have equal influence over a student. Their learning patterns can improve if children receive the right environment. Researchers have started to realize that perhaps figuring out the influence is not a redeeming approach. There are actually more than one forces which come into play when urging a pupil towards success.

The arguments about one side having more influence than the other are likely to end with this understanding. As both genetic and environmental factors impact how a student performs academically. It is evident that nature and nurture both have strong influences on a human mind all through life.

Therefore, the schooling systems need a drastic change in order to encourage achievement in all students. With personalized lessons plans and individual attention every child can be encouraged to display their full potential. The teaching techniques should specifically target the learning issues and behavior pattern of a student. With the right guidance and tools children are more likely to respond positively to academics. It is easier for teachers in terms of modern technology to apply different strategies and provide personal mentoring.

It is thus concluded that a myriad of factors from life are responsible for the academic success of a child. For more quality content on psychology or any other subject contact our reliably and cheap assignment writing service. We have writers proficient in every field to handle the projects of our clients. They are well versed in writing techniques and aware of the requirements demanded in scholarly writing. Our aim is to help students everywhere in performing their utmost best by relieving assignment related stress. With less pressure they will be able to exert more focus on understanding and learning complex concepts. Which in turn will lead to higher grades and the satisfaction of success.