When children are unmotivated at school, new research suggests their genes may be part of the equation. A study of more than 13,000 twins from six countries found that 40 to 50 percent of the differences in children’s motivation to learn could be explained by their genetic inheritance from their parents.
The results surprised study co-author Stephen Petrill, who thought before the study that the twins’ shared environment — such as the family and teachers that they had in common — would be a larger factor than genetics.
Instead, genetics and nonshared environment factors had the largest effect on learning motivation, whereas the shared environment had negligible impact.
Talk about unbelievable burble.
It must have been a happy moment when that guy “discovered” that “genes” played such a big role. No one can blame “genes” for anything (though we can, of course, throw loads of tax and insurance money at them). Biz op.
Better still, failing schools, bad teachers, and parents who are too busy with their own lives to care much whether their kids are learning anything play a greatly reduced role? Politically excellent.
I learned far more from one conversation with a reearcher four decades ago, who studied underachievement in school.
She said, consider what happens when mom is on the phone, and Johnny interrupts her:
Mom A (her Johnny will probably do well at school): Excuse me, son, I am speaking to a gentleman about the car repairs. I’ll be with you in a moment.
Mom B (her Johnny will probably do poorly at school): Shut UP! Get OUT! I’m on the PHONE! SMACK!!!
The researcher said that a great deal can be predicted from the difference between these two types of interaction alone.
I believe her. For one thing, consider the level of abstract information communicated (critical for education, of course).
See also: There’s a gene for that… or is there?
File this research with: National Hush! Hush! Midnite News