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Genes not environment, main determinant of how well children perform at school

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posted on Nov, 8 2005 @ 10:31 PM
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We have heard the argument for years, nature vs. nurture, biology vs. sociology. It has many names but all refers to the same thing. What causes some children to do good at school but others to do poorly? If a new study from London is correct we really need to look at how we handle education in this country.

As someone studying education this could have a large impact on how we educate students. Currently the belief is that all children have the capacity to learn at high levels and usually the teachers are blamed if a student doesn't do as well as the government would like.

 



www.theaustralian.news.com.au
LONDON: Nature, not nurture, is the main determinant of how well children perform at school and university, according to a study to be published this week.

The researchers came to their conclusion by comparing how well adopted children did at school when they were brought up alongside parents' biological children. The relative effects of genes and the home environment were then separated out. Previous studies have suggested that the home environment, and in particular the level of family income, is the most important determinant of educational attainment.

But the new study, to be published in the Royal Economic Society's Economic Journal, will argue that while income and home environment account for about 25 per cent of educational attainment, inherited intelligence is responsible for the rest.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.




This could possibly lead to a day when children are grouped by their current learning level instead of their age. This could help children but also harm at the same time. The mix between ages could be good for socialization unless taken to extremes. I for one wouldn't want to have a class with 12 year olds and 5 year olds together.

This also brings up a problem with "No Child Left Behind". It could be that do to genetics, some children will never be able to be on the same level as their counterparts.


[edit on 8-11-2005 by K_OS]

[edit on 8-11-2005 by K_OS]

[edit on 11/12/05 by FredT]




posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 09:05 AM
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I'd say that parochial interests over the No Child Left Behind Act should be the least of anyone's concerns if inheritance is the primary factor that determines education. Certainly, teachers become a moderately useless group if they can't override basic biolgogical determinants.



posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 10:13 AM
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I hate this kind of 'science'.

The original article was pretty vague, so I will reserve judgement until I have read the research, but one comment that I have after reading the article the sample size was 15,000 children, of whom 574 were adopted, what's that... like 3.5% or something like that. It seems to suggest that the article wasn't concerned primarily with the genetic influence of intelligence, rather it seems to be concerned with a host of factors that affect a child's educational performance.

The truly unfortunate thing about this study is that it hasn't even hit the presses and we've got officials making comments worth quoting at length such as (special emphasis mine):

The research may lead some to question government policies aimed at improving the performance of poor children at school and university.

Such policies, it suggests, will work only if targeted at able children.

The study, Does Family Income Matter for Schooling Outcomes?, by Wim Vijverberg, professor of economics at Texas University, and Erik Plug, an economics researcher at Amsterdam University, concludes that previous studies suggesting a strong link between family income and educational performance were flawed.

Flawed? Based on what... a single study that's not even been published yet. Scary.




[edit on 9-11-2005 by mattison0922]



posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 11:48 AM
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For overlooking cultural influences and calling them genetic.

Here's my short list.

1. "Birth" order. Firstborn (or first adopted children) tend to push themselves harder academically. This isn't genetic but seems to be due to the psychological environment in the family. At an early age, if a child is an only child, it gets reinforcement from the parents for being "smarter." Then, when a new baby comes into the home, the older child feels driven to compete with a "newer model" that is cuter, more fun, and less of a discipline problem. The older child quickly realizes it can still get attention for being "smart," or good at a sport, etc. I suspect that many parents adopt a child, thinking they cannot have one of their own. Some of them later have biological, younger children. The pressure for older adopted childrent to excel must be profound. Did the study take this into account?

2. Economics. Most adoptive parents are wealthy. I'm not sure about the economic status of mothers giving their children up for adoption, but I would guess they come from a lower economic stratum than the adoptive family. So I would expect the adopted children to struggle in school if it was genetic. But how would you know if this was because of genetics, or because they are a minority child in an affluent suburb's school? How do you factor that out? Did the study take this into account?

3. Do the teachers of the kids know (or guess) that they are adopted? If so, the teachers may subconsciouisly treat the child differently. How do you factor such a subtle variable out?

4. One of the troubles with these studies is a tiny sample size. Due to the nature of statistics, you need about 2000 subjects, in a properly controlled experiment, to get a margin of error below +/- 3%. Usually, these studies have less than a hundred subjects, sometimes less than 50. I didn't see info about this. It makes all the difference.

5. Which gene is it that is the marker for good grades in school? Oh, that's right, no one has any idea. But the study "indicates" it's mostly genetic.

6. Money is largely genetic. So is an attitude that treats education as paramount. So are graduate degrees. If you parents had graduate degrees, you are much more likely to hagve them also. So again, how did this study factor out those other genetic influences, and prove it was the influence they wanted?

Oh that's right, these questions are unanswered because they don't sell advertizing for the media that bring us this crap.

honestly, an astrologer could do as well telling you about some kid's chances. And I don't believe in astrology, either.



posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 11:52 AM
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Does this mean eugenics is going to make a comeback?



posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 02:12 PM
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Unfortunately, Eugenics IS making a comeback... you should check out "Backdoor to Eugenics," by Troy Duster.



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 11:42 AM
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Whenever a see a study that could possibly be used by people, or authorities, to "prove" that whatever is going wrong is outside their power to change i become VERY skeptical.


Western children do not learn much about responsibility at school and that coupled with absentee parents ( at work or too tired too care) gives you a society seeking to blame anyone and anything but themselves for whatever is going wrong in their lives.

Just more of the same imo....

Stellar



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 11:49 AM
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Originally posted by mattison0922
Unfortunately, Eugenics IS making a comeback... you should check out "Backdoor to Eugenics," by Troy Duster.


Excellent book and point. "Nationalisim" follows Eugenics closely. Stamping out Eugenics will stamp out all Nationalisim.......a very big NWO goal.

Be careful what you ask for....................



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 06:38 PM
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Originally posted by thermopolis
Excellent book and point. "Nationalisim" follows Eugenics closely. Stamping out Eugenics will stamp out all Nationalisim.......a very big NWO goal.

I'm not sure if I get what you're saying here Thermo. Nationalism can exist without eugenics. Can you clarify your position and/or point here? Thanks.



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 07:34 AM
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Originally posted by mattison0922

Originally posted by thermopolis
Excellent book and point. "Nationalisim" follows Eugenics closely. Stamping out Eugenics will stamp out all Nationalisim.......a very big NWO goal.

I'm not sure if I get what you're saying here Thermo. Nationalism can exist without eugenics. Can you clarify your position and/or point here? Thanks.


Nationalisim leads too often to "race" superiority within certain countries. Example France..........Arrogance lead to keeping the muslims seperate, now the muslims are striking back.

The obvious is always Hitlers Germany.

Less obvious is native americans........purity of race.........

In the african american sector..........skin tone less than very dark is a bad thing.

The first step to Eugenics is always nationalisim and intense pride.



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 09:18 AM
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Originally posted by thermopolis
..
Nationalisim leads too often to "race" superiority within certain countries. Example France..........Arrogance lead to keeping the muslims seperate, now the muslims are striking back.
...



i know it's OT but i will not let that stand uncontested.

i agree on arrogance, only question is who's arrogance! out of countless minorities who caused trouble?

sure, you were probably just looking for wuick examples, but that doesn't change much, does it?



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 09:30 AM
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Originally posted by Long Lance

Originally posted by thermopolis
..
Nationalisim leads too often to "race" superiority within certain countries. Example France..........Arrogance lead to keeping the muslims seperate, now the muslims are striking back.
...


i know it's OT but i will not let that stand uncontested.

i agree on arrogance, only question is who's arrogance! out of countless minorities who caused trouble?

Actually, you've got it backwards. Those minorities that went to a country and were accepted as citizens with full rights have no problems. But when you have a minority that came into a country, who were kept in low wage jobs no matter what their education and background, who have little opportunit for jobs, and who are kept segregated in ghettos, then yes you have problems.

The only way to keep from having problems if you oppress a people is to put them under sentence of quick death for almost everthing... as was done to the Jews in Europe.

But that's no way to treat ANYone.



posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 09:49 AM
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Originally posted by Byrd

Actually, you've got it backwards. Those minorities that went to a country and were accepted as citizens with full rights have no problems. But when you have a minority that came into a country, who were kept in low wage jobs no matter what their education and background, who have little opportunit for jobs, and who are kept segregated in ghettos, then yes you have problems.

....



the French had colonies all over Africa, various islands, some on South American soil.

will you tell me now that blacks are and were treated better than algerians? which kind of racism are we talking about now?



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