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New Study Suggests Educational Motivation is Genetic

New Study Suggests Educational Motivation is Genetic

According to a new study from researchers in Ohio, high or low motivation in the classroom could be partly determined at birth.

"A study of more than 13,000 twins from six countries found that 40 to 50 percent of the differences in children’s motivation to learn could be explained by their genetic inheritance from their parents," according to an article from Ohio State University.

"The results strongly suggest that we should think twice before automatically blaming parents, teachers and the children themselves for students who aren’t motivated in class," the article said.

Researchers drew their conclusions by comparing the results of a series of education-related questions between fraternal and identical twins in Germany, the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

"The researchers compared how close the answers were for fraternal twins – who share half their inherited genes, on average – with identical twins, who share all of their inherited genes. To the extent that identical twins’ answers were more closely matched than those of fraternal twins, that suggests a stronger genetic effect," the article said.

Co-author Stephen Petrill, professor of psychology at Ohio State University, was quick to say that these findings don't mean to give up on encouraging and motivating children in the classroom, but rather to understand better why differences in desires to learn do exist.

"The results don’t mean there is a gene for how much children enjoy learning, he said. But the findings suggest a complex process, involving many genes and gene-environment interactions, that help influence children’s motivation to learn," according to the article.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

4/16/2015

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