In the world we live in, we have nearly 8 billion people and yet somehow all of us are unique and different from each and other. Each person portrays a specific characteristic and has physical features that set them apart, however, when it comes to lineage it is easy to tell that a certain person belongs to a particular family just by appearance. Why is that so? The answer to that is Genes. Genes make us who we are, though in the past it was thought only to be affecting the physical aspects, now researchers claim it also impacts our education bias.
What are Genes?
Each and every single cell in our body contains 46 strands of DNA, and this double helix structure is made up of millions of nucleotides that are of four types, simply called A, C, T, and G. DNA exist in a long chain and any specific section of this chain is known as a Gene. Genes contain information that is read and used by a cell upon being multiplied. The most interesting fact about genes is perhaps, the four nucleotides that makeup DNA are the same throughout the animals, it is their different arrangement that separates them from us.
Genes and Academics
Ever felt like you are excelling at mathematics but your brain seems to just freeze when it comes to literature? or maybe biology seems like your natural domain while mathematics makes you question your existence? Your genes might be responsible for your understanding of these subjects.
In a study conducted, researchers found that academic performance and preference for certain subjects are inherited thanks to genetics, and up to 60% of differences in students’ results in a GCSE(General Certification of Secondary Education in the United Kingdom) test were explained by the genes. As of today, it is certain that genes are responsible for this but they are unable to pinpoint the specific genes that are responsible for it. If scientists are able to find these genes, it can help children tremendously in the future, as nursery children could be examined, and it can be determined if these toddlers require help in certain subjects or not, saving countless hours of unnecessary struggle.
The Twin Method: Another study has been conducted as well which shows the influence of genes on academics without having other influences altering the results to a large extent. This study is not just conducted by a particular country, pretty much all the populous continents have researched using this method. In a UK study of about 6000 twins, two identical twins and two fraternal twins were sent to the same school and living in the same homes respectively. In the former pair, they share pretty much all of the genes while in the latter only about 50% of the genes are alike. It was seen that identical twins were performing equally in academics while the fraternal had varying results depending on the subject. This result concluded that about 70% of the academic results are influenced by genes. Though this gives us a good understanding of academics, the creative side of things is still a mystery.
Other factors influencing Academics
It is certain that genetics play a huge role in academics but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we should solely rely on those. Here are some other factors that contribute to the results.
- Teacher Influences: It is obvious that without the teacher there cannot be any students. The way a teacher teaches and interacts with the students is one of the main factors other than genes that impact the academic result. Even in the Twin Method, when nothing but the teacher was changed for one twin their results started showing a major difference. Researchers established that teachers and their way of teaching play an important role in this aspect.
- Environmental Influences: Contrary to the popular belief that the financial condition of a family determines academic performance is not really true. As its impact is fairly minimal, here when we talk about environmental influences we are referring to sickness and other issues that one has no control over like the inadequate temperature of the class, noisy environment, and the freedom available in the school.
- Care: This strictly applies to pre-schoolers. Children begin learning as soon as they are born, keeping that in mind, how kids spend their time before entering an educational institute has an impact on how they perform. During these times either a guardian or relatives take care of the children while parents are away or busy, or they could leave the children at daycare where they spend their entire day with other children, this enables them to learn the social aspect before entering the school, hence they can focus on the academics upon joining the school. So the children who were taken care of more during this period show better results in education.
- Motivation: Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects when it comes to factors affecting the childrens’ performance. As adults, we constantly require motivation, while toddlers don’t need it just to enable them to begin studying but they still require it to outperform themselves. Encouraging words can make a huge difference in the results if other factors are not strongly in play.
Despite other components that may affect the education of a child, genes are the most influential. As it not only influences, it also acts as a guideline that shows us where a child might be excelling and lacking.