Thursday, November 23, 2017
You're only smart because of genetics!
The article, "Genes don't just influence your IQ - they determine how well you do in school", mentioned that there have been previous studies on how a person's IQ is highly influenced by genetic factors and what genes played a role. This new study focused more on the performance in school and if a child's drive to learn is genetically linked. Researchers of King's College London analyzed 83 different traits from more than 11,000 pairs of twins (identical and fraternal) born in the United Kingdom between 1994 and 1996. In order to measure this study, twins and their parents filled out a questionnaire based on health, how much each individual liked school, and how hard they worked in school. Afterwards, researchers collected data on how well each individual did on a standardized exam called General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) exam. It was found that 9 general groups of traits that were highly heritable, but the researchers still don't know what specific genes are the influence factors. It's difficult to pinpoint what genes because there are hundreds of genes acting together. Future studies will hopefully be able to identify these genes, which would help diagnose and treat learning disabilities. It is predicted that a similar study in less-developed countries will differ significantly because the children don't have equal access to education and academic achievement is "shaped more by opportunities than genetics." Stated in the article, it is important to understand why children differ in academic achievements because everyone differs in the way they learn and their drive for learning. This allows school districts to personalize classrooms for children to learn in different ways that best fits their personalities.
I loved reading this article because I have 3-year experience working at a childcare facility and I got to see in front of my eyes how different every child learns. Their drive to learn is fueled by either hands-on, demonstration, visual, listening, enthusiasm, games, one-on-one, etc. I also noticed that some learn faster than others. I was always the extra teacher in the room, who was assigned to work with a child one-on-one and I learned that they were more encouraged when I was enthusiastic and when I gave them a "good job" or a high five after they completed a task. As I looked around the room, all the kids would be at various learning stations; some would be at the iPads playing learning games, some played bingo with shapes, and some did worksheets. Every child learns differently and they should have the access to a more personalized education that assists their learning in ways that will allow them to succeed in school.