Author Oliver James. Posted on 6-April-2016

From intelligence to mental health, nurture is the crucial influence on human development

Are poor people poor because of inferior genes? This notion is especially popular with members of the ruling elite, who like to think their position is the result of genetic superiority rather than the fact they have privileged backgrounds.

Low intelligence and high rates of mental illness are more common in poor people. Geneticists maintain that genes play a major role in causing both. But if they were right there would be an inexorable logic that suggests inferior DNA caused poor people to sink to the bottom of the gene pool.

Author Deborah Eyre. Posted on 1-April-2016

How do you create a world class school? What are the characteristics of these schools and how do staff work together to achieve such outstanding results? Learn more from internationally renowned leading academic, Professor Deborah Eyre, founder and of High Performance Learning and published author of High Performance Learning: How To Become A World Class School.

When you take a look at the best schools in the world, you notice that they are all unique, but they also have some underlying factors in common. If we want more schools to become as good as the best then it’s helpful to take a look at these common characteristics.

Author Deborah Eyre. Posted on 17-March-2016

It’s educationally reassuring to think that some people are born gifted and some are not. We just find the ones who are and ensure that they have the right educational opportunities. Simple. That’s what we thought when I started working in this field 35 years ago. But as the 20th century wore on it became increasingly apparent that spotting those people in childhood is unreliable and difficult. Conceptions of what it means to be cognitively gifted continues to fragment rather than converge so making assessment difficult. At the same time, across the world gifted cohorts were found – regardless of the assessment processes used – to be stubbornly biased against the disadvantaged. People tried, but the result was always the same. Statistically speaking, gifted cohorts in schools and in enrichment programmes are dominated by more advantaged students. Gifted education is often therefore criticised as advantaging the already advantaged.

 

Author Deborah Eyre. Posted on 12-January-2016

Remember when we thought girls could not achieve as highly as boys? We thought it was genetic because that’s what most psychologists believed. Well life has certainly proved otherwise and girls are currently outperforming boys at every level in school in the UK.

So why are we still so wedded to the idea that other groups of pupils are incapable of achieving highly? We continue to think that our ‘potential’ defines us and that this will inevitably define educational outcomes. We routinely institutionalise this by calling students less able, more able etc.

 

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