The conversation about nature versus nurture will undoubtedly go on for a long time: do we credit or blame the genes or the environment?
A twins-study just out from King’s College of London Institute of Psychiatry suggests that when it comes to achievement in the classroom, we should be looking more at what the child brings to school: his or her own genetic makeup.
Working with 4,000 sets of U.K. twins, researchers examined student achievement over time. Traditionally, improvement in performance has been “explained by the quality of the school environment.” That would include such things as the teacher, the lessons and the classroom space. What this study found was that school environment is a factor, but performance is “also substantially influenced by genetic factors that children bring to the classroom.”
The lead author of the study, Dr. Claire Haworth, comments, “…the results do suggest that children bring genetic characteristics to the classroom that influence how well they will take advantage of the quality of education offered…. In 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.”
This will certainly sound familiar to parents of children with dyslexia and other language-processing disorders. Same classroom, same instructions, different results.
The authors of the study conclude that “The research supports the trend towards personalising education to each child’s individual strengths and weaknesses.”
The mission of Lexercise is to provide personalized learning for the 15-20% of children who struggle with reading and spelling due to auditory processing problems and dyslexia.
If you have questions about dyslexia or language-learning disorders or would like a referral to a clinician in your area, contact us at 1-919-747-4557 or email email@example.com.
Sandie is a speech-language pathologist with more than 30 years of experience in the private practice sector. She is Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders at University of North Carolina Greensboro, and founder/owner of the Language & Learning Clinic, PLLC, a private practice in Elkin, NC, and Greensboro, NC, specializing in communication disorders, including disorders of reading and written language.