npj Summary: The practical utility of genetic screening in school settings

An npj Summary of research analysing the application of polygenetic scores to personalise education in schools⎮1 min read

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People are naturally keen to know more about their genealogical, geographical and historical past. Places like 23andMe.com and Ancestry.com offer anyone the opportunity to discover more about their origins through a saliva sample.

Genetic screening was originally developed to identify variations in an individual’s DNA and how these variations are linked to the expression of physical traits. Scientists were quick to envision genetic screening as a practical method for tailoring treatments, based on an individual’s genetic profile and environment, commonly known as precision medicine. For the last few years, scientists have been investigating how this novel approach might be used to develop a personalised educational framework that meets the individual needs of students.

npj Science of Learning authors J. Shero, W. van Dijk, A. Edwards, C. Schatschneider, E. J. Solari & S. A. Hart from Florida State University and University of Virginia, the United States of America, assessed whether polygenetic scores (PGS) could be used with a range of other measures, to predict student achievement, and those students at risk of developing a learning disability. The model of analysis remained flexible enough so the research team could determine the number of ways PGS might be applied to personalise education for students studying different subject areas.

The results of the study showed PGS had limited utility for predicting individual achievement, while PGS might assist schools determine students ‘at risk of’ developing learning disabilities when used in association with progress monitoring screeners.

To learn more detail about the research, please read The practical utility of genetic screening in school settings published by npj Science of Learning.

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.