RICH kids do better at school and
poor children struggle due to genetic "inherited abilities'', the
Federal Government's top policy research agency says.
In a controversial new report released today, the Productivity Commission cites
``parents' cognitive abilities and inherited genes'' as one of five
main reasons why kids from low-income families lag behind those from
wealthy homes.Genes are listed before access to books and computers, parental attention and aspirations, and even schools.
a section entitled "inherited abilities'', the 246-page staff working
paper states that "one explanation for differences in educational
attainment between children of low and high socio-economic backgrounds
is parents' cognitive abilities and inherited genes''.
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a British study, it suggests that "inherited cognitive abilities''
explain one-fifth of the gap in test scores between children from the
richest and poorest families, once environmental factors are taken into
account."Genetic explanations for children's success at school is
a controversial and complex area because of interactions between genes
and the environment,'' the report says."Evidence is now emerging that the same genetic endowment can result in different outcomes depending on the environment''.
Productivity Commission notes that Australia has one of the highest
rates of joblessness among families in the developed world, with nearly
one in five families unemployed.It cites two research studies
showing that unemployed parents have "poorer parenting skills'', with
their children 13.4 per cent more likely to lie or fight, and 7.6 per
cent more likely to be bullied.The Productivity Commission also links learning success to "character traits such as perseverance, motivation and self-esteem''.
The report on ``Deep and Persistent Disadvantage in Australia'',
made public today, says poor children are "behind the eight-ball'' when
they start school and the gap widens as they grow older.Poorer children may have less access to books, computers or study space than kids from well-off families, it says.
And parents' aspirations and attitudes to education "vary strongly with socio-economic position''.
Better educated parents tend to spend more time reading to children and helping with homework, the report says.
on why some disadvantaged children 'buck the trend' to succeed in later
life suggests that the level of parental interest and parents'
behaviour are important,'' it says."Attending school with
higher-achieving or more advantaged peers seemed to be associated with a
higher probability of bucking the trend."While inherited genes
influence their development, the quality of family environments, and the
availability of appropriate experiences at various stages of
development, are crucial for building capabilities.''The Productivity Commission cites the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) international PISA tests of 15-year-olds in reading, maths and science.
from the PISA show that economically advantaged parents are more likely
to have read to their children regularly, sung songs, talked about what
they had done during the day, and read signs aloud to their children,''
the report says.
In: Regional News, Other News, Politics, Propaganda, Science and Technology
Tags: Australia, Government, Genetics, Genes, Education, Ability, IQ
Location: Australia (load item map)
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