Author(s): Kathryn Asbury
G is for Genes shows how a dialogue between geneticists and educationalists can have beneficial results for the education of all children--and can also benefit schools, teachers, and society at large. Draws on behavioral genetic research from around the world, including the UK-based Twins' Early Development Study (TEDS), one of the largest twin studies in the world Offers a unique viewpoint by bringing together genetics and education, disciplines with a historically difficult relationship Shows that genetic influence is not the same as genetic determinism and that the environment matters at least as much as genes Designed to spark a public debate about what naturally-occurring individual differences mean for education and equality
Kathryn Asbury is a Lecturer in the Centre for Psychology in Education at the University of York, UK. She has published widely on the influence of home and school environments on children's achievement, behavior, and wellbeing. Robert Plomin is the Professor of Behavioural Genetics at the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King's College London, UK. He is the founder and principal investigator of the Twins' Early Development Study (TEDS), and has published more than 500 papers and a dozen books on behavior genetics.
Acknowledgements xi Part One In Theory 1 Chapter 1 Genetics, Schools, and Learning 3 The Aims and Assumptions of Education 4 Diverse Opportunities to Draw Out Individual Potential 8 DNA in the Classroom 10 In Summary ... 11 Chapter 2 How We Know What We Know 14 Twins: A Natural Experiment 15 DNA Sequencing 18 Chapter 3 The 3Rs: Reading, wRiting ... 22 From DNA to ABC 24 Environmental Influences on Reading Ability 31 Struggling Readers 34 The Genetics of Writing Ability 38 Chapter 4 ... and 'Rithmetic 42 So, Why are Some People Better at Math than Others? 43 How does Nurture Affect Mathematical Ability? 52 Chapter 5 Physical Education: Who, What, Why, Where, and How? 57 Genes, Sports, and Smoking 62 Obesity, Genes, and Environment 64 The Heritability of Fitness 67 Gym Class Heroes 69 In Summary ... 74 Chapter 6 Science: A Different Way of Thinking? 78 Differences Between the Sexes 85 In Summary ... 87 Chapter 7 How do IQ and Motivation Fit In? 89 IQ + Genetics = Controversy (and Name-calling) 95 Self-Confidence and Motivation 98 Improving Confidence and Cognition in the Classroom 100 Chapter 8 Special Educational Needs: Ideas and Inspiration 105 The Expansion of Special Educational Needs 110 Personalized Learning in Action 113 In Summary ... 114 Chapter 9 "Clones" in the Classroom 115 Positivity and Achievement 122 Clones in the Classroom 122 Chapter 10 Mind the Gap: Social Status and School Quality 126 Low SES: What Does It Look Like? 129 What Does the Heritability of SES Mean? 133 School Quality 136 Chapter 11 Genetics and Learning: The Big Ideas 141 Big Idea #1: Achievement and Ability Vary, Partly for Genetic Reasons 141 Big Idea #2: The Abnormal is Normal 142 Big Idea #3: Continuity is Genetic and Change is Environmental 143 Big Idea #4: Genes are Generalists and Environments are Specialists 144 Big Idea #5: Environments are Influenced by Genes 144 Big Idea #6: The Environments that Matter Most are Unique to Individuals 145 Big Idea #7: Equality of Opportunity Requires Diversity of Opportunity 146 Part Two In Practice 147 Chapter 12 Personalization in Practice 149 So, What Can Be Done to Make Teaching and Learning More Personalized? 150 A Good "Mindset" for Learning 153 Other Ways to Personalize Learning 158 In Summary ... 159 Chapter 13 Eleven Policy Ideas 161 1. Minimize the Core Curriculum and Test Basic Skills 161 2. Increase Choice 163 3. Forget About Labels 165 4. Teach the Child, As Well As the Class 166 5. Teach Children How To Succeed 168 6. Promote Equal Opportunities from an Early Age as a Foundation for Social Mobility in the Future 170 7. Equalize Extracurricular Opportunities at School 172 8. Create a Two Stage PE Program 172 9. Change the Destination 173 10. Train New Teachers in Genetics and Give Them the Tools to Put it Into Practice 175 11. Big Is Beautiful 177 Chapter 14 Education Secretary for a Day 178 Index 189