Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children's genes influence how well they take advantage of education, twin study shows

Date:
February 3, 2011
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
New research on twins shows that measures used to judge the effectiveness of schools are partly influenced by genetic factors in students.

New research from the Twins Early Development Study at King's College London Institute of Psychiatry (IoP), published in PLoS ONE on February 2nd, shows that measures used to judge the effectiveness of schools are partly influenced by genetic factors in students.

Related Articles


The study, funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), was conducted by scientists in the UK at the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King's IoP, and in the US at the University of New Mexico.

The assumption behind measures of school effectiveness is that changes in student performance over time must be explained by the quality of the school environment. So the quality of education can be measured by the amount of improvement over time.

However, using data on school performance over time from 4000 pairs of twins from the Twins Early Development Study the researchers have shown that this and other approaches to assessing school quality do not measure the school environment alone. Perhaps unexpectedly, these measures are also substantially influenced by genetic factors that children bring to the classroom.

Dr. Claire Haworth, a lecturer at the King's IoP and lead author of the study said: "These findings do not mean that educational quality is unimportant, in fact environmental factors were just as important as genetic factors. However, these results do suggest that children bring characteristics to the classroom that influence how well they will take advantage of the quality.

She continues "Consider a classroom full of students being taught by the same teacher. Some children will improve more than other children, even though their educational experience at school is the same."

Future research will aim to identify which characteristics in the child allow them to gain more from their educational experience. High on the list of candidates are motivation, persistence, and self-control, all of which are already known to show genetic as well as environmental influence, and are likely to affect school learning.

This genetic perspective on education suggests moving away from thinking of children as passive recipients of knowledge in education to an active view of learning in which children select, modify and create their own education in part on the basis of their genetic propensities. The research supports the trend towards personalizing education to each child's individual strengths and weaknesses.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Claire M. A. Haworth, Kathryn Asbury, Philip S. Dale, Robert Plomin. Added Value Measures in Education Show Genetic as Well as Environmental Influence. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (2): e16006 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016006

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Children's genes influence how well they take advantage of education, twin study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202172258.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2011, February 3). Children's genes influence how well they take advantage of education, twin study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202172258.htm
Public Library of Science. "Children's genes influence how well they take advantage of education, twin study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202172258.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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