Genes not the only factor in maths matters

A new study published by npj Science of Learning revealed mathematical achievement depends on contextual factors and discusses how gene tools play a role ⎮1 min read

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Learning maths is important for students to study at school because it equips individuals with basic skills needed to successfully navigate through life or to progress toward a STEM career. But maths performance varies between students and research articles report either an individual’s genome, socio-economic status, quality of teaching or a combination, influence academic achievement. 

A research team led by Kathryn Paige Harden, from the University of Texas, analysed the official academic transcripts and genetic data collected from 3000 students of European descent who attended secondary school in the United States of America from 1994 to 1995. The team compared the individual student’s mathematical performance with their polygenic scores to assess whether the student’s results were based on school experience or genetic profile. The results of the study indicated the educational outcomes of students did not always reflect the opportunities provided by the school or the student’s DNA. 

For a more detailed discussion, please read Genetic associations with mathematics tracking and persistence in secondary school, a free and open access article published npj Science of Learning Journal.

Gabrielle Ahern

Managing Community Editor, npj Science of Learning Community

I have developed an interesting portfolio of skills and experience in science communication and content creation. My qualifications include a BA (GU), BMarSt.Hon (UQ), CertIV in TESOL (ACC), GCertTertTLP (UOW) and a GCertJ (UQ). You're welcome to contact me, if you would like to join the Community and contribute a blog about the mind, brain or education space.