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.Remember this the next time you hear someone say how unfair it is that rich kids do best in school, and that we therefore need universal preschool or better paid teachers or some other expensive remedy. The money is not the determinitive factor.
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.
Doubling a family's income would have only a small effect on educational performance, say the researchers, who examined more than 15,000 children, 574 of them adopted.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Genes have it over means