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Title: Evolutionary and Genetic Perspectives on Educational Attainment
Contributor(s): Byrne, Brian J  (author)orcid ; Khlentzos, Drew M  (author); Olson, Richard K (author); Samuelsson, Stefan (author)
Publication Date: 2010
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Abstract: At first glance, it may seem unusual to find a chapter on evolutionary psychology and genetics in a handbook of educational psychology, let alone open it. However, we hope to demonstrate why educators can benefit from being aware of work in these areas. Human biology may seem far removed from the day-to-day concerns of teachers and policy makers, but in one way or another evolutionary and genetic perspectives on education raise questions about many of these daily concerns and also suggest answers to at least some of them. For example: • Why is motivating students to listen to their teachers more of a problem than persuading them to believe their teachers? • Why might students of physics be more adept at reasoning about the motion of particles than solid bodies? • In a crowded school curriculum, what subjects should be given priority? • Why do children find it easier to learn to talk than to read, when the rules of grammar are seemingly so complex and the rules relating print to speech seemingly so straightforward? • Because reading difficulties are known to run in families, shouldn't parents foster literacy in the home earlier and more intensively? • Why are some children high (or low) achievers across a broad range of subjects, such as reading and mathematics, when the subject contents are so diverse? We begin by considering evolutionary perspectives on educational attainment before turning to the contribution of genetics to this area. In doing so, we draw on two branches of modern psychological science, evolutionary psychology and behavioural genetics.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: International Handbook of Psychology in Education, p. 3-33
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Place of Publication: Bingley, United Kingdom
ISBN: 1848552327
Field of Research (FOR): 170103 Educational Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 930102 Learner and Learning Processes
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Editor: Editor(s): Karen Littleton, Clare Wood, Judith Kleine Staarman
Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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