Genes, education, and equity: It’s complicated
All learners are diverse – and part of that diversity lies in their genes. How can we use this knowledge to give every child the best possible support?
How well a child will do in school, as well as later on in life, is strongly influenced by the child’s genes. Genes are just one of many factors, but they have an impact comparable to growing up in a rich or poor family.
Surely we can all agree that these things are purely a matter of luck!
This video illustrates how researchers are seeking to understand the connection between genes and education, and they have achieved significant advances in recent years. These scientific insights, like many others, can be distorted to support dangerous ideas. We must be aware of the dangers and guard against them – and focus on the positive opportunities that the science offers:
In the future, we will be able to identify children who are likely to have a harder time learning, and to provide them with tailored support early on. We must make every effort to ensure that new insights about genes and education are used to benefit all children – especially identifying those in need of support and boosting their learning before they fall behind.