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For Australian Students Academic Potential Still Outweighs Social Circumstances

While in this The Conversation (Sept 12) article there is an egalitarian bent it does reveal some interesting observations about the influence of genes (academic potential) verses SES (social circumstances), coupled with a comparative weighing up against the US.

“The influence of genes on school achievement has now been well established by researchers using the “natural experiment” afforded by identical and non-identical twins. Between 50% and 75% of the differences among students in the same grade in literacy and numeracy is estimated to be attributed to genes; the rest to environmental factors.

“The same researchers have also been interested in whether genetic influence remains constant across differing levels of some environmental factors, such as socio-economic status (SES). Are differences among students from poorer households as subject to the influence of genetics as those from richer households? Technically, this is referred to as the search for a gene-by-environment interaction.”

[From a summary] … “In the US, differences in school results among poorer children depend more on environment than genes. In Australia, the story is different.”

Click here for the full article.

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