heritability

/Tag: heritability

Do schools matter less than we think?

2017-08-12T17:44:15+00:00

Disturbingly for all of us involved in education, it seems as if schools and teaching may matter a lot less than we would like to believe. Before setting out the arguments I want to make it clear that this is a struggle for me and I really don't want it to be true. That said, being professionally sceptical requires that we doubt what we want to believe as much - more - than the stuff that's obvious guff. In order to understand what comes next, I'm going to take the liberty of providing a quick refresher on the mechanics of behaviour [...]

Do schools matter less than we think?2017-08-12T17:44:15+00:00

What’s the point of parenting?

2017-08-11T18:40:03+00:00

As an aside in a recent blog, I made the statement that, "shared environmental effects like parenting have no effect on adult’s behaviour, characteristics, values or beliefs." This excited quite a bit of handbag clutching so I've decided to delve a little more deeply into the evidence supporting this contentious claim. It is, I hope, unlikely to upset anyone to point out that identical twin share (virtually) 100% of their genetic material*. It's also uncontroversial to note that despite this, there are often observable differences in the behaviour and personalities of identical twins. What accounts for these differences is referred to [...]

What’s the point of parenting?2017-08-11T18:40:03+00:00

What's the point of parenting?

2017-08-11T18:40:03+00:00

As an aside in a recent blog, I made the statement that, "shared environmental effects like parenting have no effect on adult’s behaviour, characteristics, values or beliefs." This excited quite a bit of handbag clutching so I've decided to delve a little more deeply into the evidence supporting this contentious claim. It is, I hope, unlikely to upset anyone to point out that identical twin share (virtually) 100% of their genetic material*. It's also uncontroversial to note that despite this, there are often observable differences in the behaviour and personalities of identical twins. What accounts for these differences is referred to [...]

What's the point of parenting?2017-08-11T18:40:03+00:00

What causes behaviour?

2017-08-24T17:29:34+00:00

The age-old debate as to what causes human behaviour - nature vs nurture - shows little sign of running out of steam, despite having been emphatically resolved as far as science is concerned.  Although all knowledge is contingent and no scientist worthy of the name would ever say there are no facts established completely beyond doubt, the mountains of evidence that have piled up in favour of genetic causes for behaviour as opposed to environmental ones is solemnly impressive. No one argues that genes are wholly responsible for how we behave or that the environment has no effect on how we [...]

What causes behaviour?2017-08-24T17:29:34+00:00

Practice vs. talent: Five principles for effective teaching

2017-05-07T17:06:30+00:00

Are we the way we are because of our natures or is talent just the product of hard work? Which matters more natural ability of practice? A few years ago my mother reminded me of my struggles with learning to read. Apparently, one of my primary teachers had written home with the bad news that I was mentally subnormal and would probably never learn to read. My mum wasn’t having any of that. She took me out of school and spent all day every day forcing me to read the entire Janet and John reading scheme. My memories of this are [...]

Practice vs. talent: Five principles for effective teaching2017-05-07T17:06:30+00:00