ERIC Number: EJ695686
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Nature, Nurture and Academic Achievement: A Twin Study of Teacher Assessments of 7-year-olds
Walker, Sheila O.; Petrill, Stephen A.; Spinath, Frank M.; Plomin, Robert
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v74 n3 p323-342 Sep 2004
Background: Twin research has consistently shown substantial genetic influence on individual differences in cognitive ability; however, much less is known about the genetic and environmental aetiologies of school achievement. Aims: Our goal is to test the hypotheses that teacher-assessed achievement in the early school years shows substantial genetic influence but only modest shared environmental influence when children are assessed by the same teachers and by different teachers. Sample: 1,189 monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs born in 1994 in England and Wales. Methods: Teachers evaluated academic achievement for 7-year-olds in Mathematics and English. Results were based on the twin method, which compares the similarity between identical and fraternal twins. Results: Suggested substantial genetic influence in that identical twins were almost twice as similar as fraternal twins when compared on teacher assessments for Mathematics, English and a total score. Conclusions: The results confirm prior research suggesting that teacher assessments of academic achievement are substantially influenced by genetics. This finding holds even when twins are assessed independently by different teachers.
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Foreign Countries, Environmental Influences, Cognitive Ability, Academic Achievement, Twins, Genetics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Wales)