Math and Genes: Is Learning Ability Really in Your Genes?
There’s a popular belief that some people are inherently good at math, whereas others, no matter how hard they practice, don’t have what it takes to learn it.
Besides math, the concept is also applied to other subjects and learning of more complex lessons. Is there any truth to this? Or is it just a myth? What does the science say?
Let’s take a look!
Do Genes Play a Part in Your Learning?
Scientific studies reveal that DNA is responsible for learning abilities in children. Our cognitive traits are closely associated with nature; however, the role of nurture can’t be denied.
Every act we perform, from reading and writing to understanding an elaborate concept, stems from genes and genetic characteristics, to some extent.
A study published by Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (PNAS) found that more than 60 percent of learning scores are driven by heritability. The study involved 13,306 twins and focused on environmental as well as genetic factors in learning.
Other genetic studies reveal the same conclusion confirming the conviction that some students are just better at learning than others. This is important for tutors to consider the fact that every student has their own weaknesses and strengths so pushing one method for enhanced learning, particularly in math, is detrimental.
Does this Mean that Some People Can’t Learn Math?
While genetic factors have a definite impact on children’s learning in early and teen years; this isn’t to say that external factors are unimportant.
Genes may affect how well children learn to read, understand and develop concepts. However, they don’t singlehandedly represent an individual’s ability in academics. Instead, the genetic approach is important to help children learn through multifaceted learning methods so they can easily combat these challenges.
Children who don’t have genetic predispositions can learn math or other demanding subjects with further assistance. Innovative learning methods and change in conventional educational practices are some of the best approaches to tackle the science of learning.
Figure 2: Learn Math
This is why Excel Mathematics offers math classes with videos and online math courses for high school students facing difficulty learning math through memorizing and demonstration. Our online math video lessons utilize instructional methods that allow students to develop clear concepts and learn the process rather than just remembering it.
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