danspencer89

A move in the right direction?

In Uncategorized on February 4, 2011 at 4:58 PM

I was looking throught the BBC website and fell upon an interesting article entitled ‘Genes play key role in classroom performance’ (see link below)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-12339798

The article outlines research that genetic factors are just as influential as classroom factors in terms of effecting achievement.

I am unsure as what to think of the article and what the research will add to the way in which the educational process is percieved…

any thoughts?

 

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  1. Thanks for the link it was an interesting article!

    Personally, I don’t think this piece of news really tells us anything new, its always been known that learning is not 100% based on environmental factors. However, it does concern me that the implications of this research could be an increase in support for discovery learning and students ‘creating their own education’. There is much more evidence to support the success of structured learning that is catered to the individual. R. E. Mayer (2004) found guided discovery was much more effective than pure discovery by the individual themselves. If a student is in charge of their own learning they need to be extremely self-disciplined with excellent metacognitive skills to reach their full potential, and this is often not the case.

  2. I think it as Snider (2006) who said that a child’s learning is influenced by 3 factors: biology, learning history, and current environment. She states that biology (or genetics) is out of the educators control, and so the job of the teacher is to ensure an effective learning environment and to fix any possible faults in the child’s learning history. This research worries me slightly. Not because it may be true, but because of how people might interpret it. I believe we should treat each child as if they can achieve great things, and give them every opportunity to progress as far as they can. Some teachers may use ‘inferior’ genetics as an excuse for why their teaching is not working for a child, and dismiss it as a lost cause instead of finding a way to solve this educational challenge. Many teachers like to think they are good teachers and that if a child isn’t learning it is an error of the learner rather than an error of instruction, thus protecting their self-esteem and shifting the blame. I also think that it is not very clear what the implications are for those with ‘better’ genes. Do we know how much more intelligent this makes them? With these hazy potential levels of achievement, it seems to me most beneficial to believe that all children have the potential for high achievement regardless, and guide them through their education by pushing them as hard as they are able.

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