Students will develop a personal and evidence-based perspective on the genetics of education debate through close examination of behavioural genetic evidence regarding reading, maths, cognitive ability, psychopathology and home and classroom environments.
|Spring Term 2022-23 to Summer Term 2022-23
introduce students to debate about whether and how genetics should be taken into account in the planning and practice of education.
Provide sufficient background in the behavioural genetics of learning abilities and disabilities for students to develop an informed perspective.
Enable students to independently analyse a range of sources from behavioural genetics, psychology, politics and education, and to critically engage with the overlaps between these disciplines.
Enable students to engage with different forms of evidence and argument, reviewing their reliability, validity and significance to psychology in education.
Knowledge and understanding of behavioural genetic principles and practices e.g. twin studies.
Knowledge and understanding of the heritability of learning abilities and disabilities.
Knowledge and understanding of the historical and political background to debates about genetics and education.
Critical examination of the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of behavioural genetics with regard to education.
Students will develop a personal and evidence-based perspective on the genetics of education debate through close examination of behavioural genetic evidence regarding reading, maths, cognitive ability, psychopathologyand home and classroom environments.
Academic and graduate skills
Developing an informed personal opinion on a controversial topic.
Effectively communicating a personal view, and the evidence underpinning it, in both written and oral form.
Identifying and engaging with a range of sources e.g. academic papers, media reports, policy documents and social media discussions, and critically evaluating their reliability, validity and relevance.
Analysing and critically evaluating the ways in which theories and data from different disciplines can inform each other and enhance understanding.
Working proactively and autonomously to select and manage information, and using this to engage effectively in debate.
A sample outline of week by week content (subject to change):
Week 2: Behavioural Genetics: The Rise and Fall of a Discipline
Week 3: Genetic and Environmental Determinism
Week 4: Twin and Adoption Methods
Week 5: Heritability and the Human Genome
Week 6: Genetic and Environmental Influences on Intelligence
Week 7: Genetic and Environmental Influences on Academic Achievement
Week 8: Genes, Environment and Developmental Psychopathology
Week 9: Environmental Influence and GE Interplay
Week 10: Big Questions
Week 1: The application of genetic research in schools
Week 2: Genetic research in the classroom
Week 3: Genetics and educational policies
Week 4: Genetics, Free Will and Education
Each class session will require students to do reading preparation and some follow up activities. The reading and follow up activities will often take several hours to complete so students should make sure that they have built in to their weekly schedule time to complete these tasks. As part of students’ studies, it is important that they embark on a process of self-directed learning in addition to the formal class meetings.
This module is supported by the Yorkshare Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The module is being taught in conjunction with the learning materials available on the VLE. The interactive nature of the materials will allow you to fully engage with the subject area and be in control of your learning and progress through the module.
|% of module mark
Essay 3000 words
|% of module mark
Essay 3000 words
Written feedback on assignment report sheet and face-to- face feedback in supervisions. The feedback is returned to students in line with university policy. Please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information.
Asbury, K. & Plomin, R. (2013). G is for Genes: The Impact of Genetics on Education and Achievement. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.
Asbury, K., Almeida, D., Hibel, J., Harlaar, N. & Plomin, R. (2008). Clones in the Classroom: A daily diary study of the nonshared environmental relationship between monozygotic twin differences in school experience and achievement. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 11 (6) 586.
Harris, J.R. (1999). The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way they Do. New York: Touchstone.
Pinker, S. (2002). The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc.