Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Teacher effort is linked to difficult students' inherited traits

Date:
December 16, 2010
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
Challenging students take up more of their teachers' time -- and the difference between a tougher student and an easier one appears to be genetic, according to a new study. The study looked at young twins in the UK and asked their teachers how much of a handful they are.

Challenging students take up more of their teachers' time -- and the difference between a tougher student and an easier one appears to be genetic, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The study looked at young twins in the U.K. and asked their teachers how much of a handful they are.

"Policy-wise, there's a lot going on, blaming teachers for what's going on in the classrooms," says Renate Houts of Duke University, who cowrote the study with Avshalom Caspi and Terrie E. Moffitt of Duke, Robert C. Pianta of the University of Virginia, and Louise Arseneault of King's College London. Many school systems have considered paying teachers based on how much the children in their classes improve. "One of the things that seems to be missing is that teaching is more of a relationship. You have to consider both sides of that relationship, the children and the teachers," Houts says.

To look at how students affect teachers, the researchers used data from a twin study that followed 1,102 pairs of British twins from age 5 to age 12. Twin studies are useful because comparing fraternal and identical twins shows what differences between children are inherited and which are not. The study included questionnaires for the children's teachers about how much of their time was taken up by each child.

The researchers found that children who were more challenging at age five required more teacher effort at age 12. They also found that it's something about the children that makes it that way -- something heritable. They can't tell what it is, but they can tell it's there, and that their challenging behavior isn't, for example, the teacher's fault.

"What happens in the classroom isn't just a function of the teacher. It's also the kids who are in the classroom," says Houts. And it's possible to make life easier on teachers. It might be smart to spread the challenging students evenly between classes, for example.

Also, parents and teachers should consider working with children early on their challenging behaviors, so they don't cause as much trouble for teachers later. "If a teacher has to take time out to give individual attention to five challenging kids in her classroom, she can't focus on the whole classroom," Houts says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. M. Houts, A. Caspi, R. C. Pianta, L. Arseneault, T. E. Moffitt. The Challenging Pupil in the Classroom: The Effect of the Child on the Teacher. Psychological Science, 2010; 21 (12): 1802 DOI: 10.1177/0956797610388047

Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Teacher effort is linked to difficult students' inherited traits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101216122016.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2010, December 16). Teacher effort is linked to difficult students' inherited traits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101216122016.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Teacher effort is linked to difficult students' inherited traits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101216122016.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins