We need Daniel Willingham to break this down:
Study gives more proof that intelligence is largely inherited
UCLA researchers find that genes determine brain's processing speed
Because unfortunately that headline has quickly turned into this one:
Bad at Math? Blame It on Your Parents
And if your kids aren't good at math, blame yourself
Just imagine the kind of damage this kind of headline can do.
We've been talking about cultural attitudes towards ability and this absolutely sends the wrong message that effort doesn't count for much. If you're not good at something, blame it on your gene pool and get on with it.
We already have a serious problem with believing that we're either good at math or we aren't. This just adds fuel to the fire.
In Why Don't Students Like School? Daniel Willingham asserts, "Our genetic inheritance does impact our intelligence, but it seems to do so mostly through the environment. There is no doubt that intelligence can be changed."
Children need to know that it is within their power to increase their intelligence. That ability can be improved with effort. If parents and educators buy into the you're-either-born-smart-or-you're-not mindset, we're doomed to continue declining on all internationally benchmarked assessments of academic ability.
We need Dr. Willingham to counteract this spin and control it with headlines that make sense. Changing cultural perceptions about learning needs to happen now.
I blogged more about it here .