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Plomin's Research is contraversial, but it often misunderstood. His research is supported by the Health Service. His research has been developed from extensive twin studies. Genetics primarily relates to populations and probabilities. 

          Research on genetic and the work on neuro and cognitive science are complementary. The probabiities referred to are very interesting. In general everything that we do is influenced by around 50% of genes. There is increasing evidence of polygenic scores rising a variations in trait and attainment is being traced to specific patterns of genes.

          Plomin work illustrates that children cannot be viewed as having equal learning potential.

 C>>> Complex heriditrary Explained    >>> Average Child R.I.P.

Educational Achievement adn Intelligence (Click)

This Discussion Explains the Role of Genetics on Children's Attainment

At 7 years of age the differences on literacy tests reading and maths were 60% heridtable.

The difference in performance related to genetic differences, not differences

Children's ability to phonetically decode non-words is 70% genetic.

16 year old performance in G.C.S.E. is 65% genetic inscience and STEM.

A Levels are just as hereditable.

0.5 overlap between intelligence and achievement score.

70% genetic effect on intelligence and achievement

Another 50%, a quarter of that is related to personality and perseverance that is independent of intelligence.

It can be smarter for children who struggle to give up and perform something they can do.

Genes do not completely overlap. 

It is harder for some children to reach the same standards as others such as in reading.

In a structured society educated people are needed.

Finland has minimum level of literacy and numeracy defined. 

Children cannot participate in society unless they can read.

Politicians do not want to know about D.N.A.

Fear of labelling

We can now only explain 10% of the variance educational achievement


The polygenic score will be one half of probability that child will go to university.

50% of siblings are similar

Sibling A is told well done

Sibling B work harder, but this child can already be working harder.

Should sibling B pay £40,000 cost of university.

Problisitic - good enough to university.

We are not hard wired and deterministic, but genetics is probabilistic.

Parents should respect those differences and be resource managers.

National Curriculum put information into children’s heads is instruction.

Education is something different, it should refer to drawing things out

Most of the variance is not within parents and teachers control.

Skinner called for a completely controlled environment.

Hard Talk Video 2:32  – Genetics relates to thousands of genes so the findings are not deterministic, they are probablistic.

Genetics and Education 3:11  - The fact two parents are highly intelligence does not mean they have will pass througth to their children. 50% of the most talented come from average parents. It is the cocktail of the thousands of genes that matter.

Another Video Review of Plomin follows and a H.G. Review


>>> Read and Watch Neil Thomas' view on Neuro-Science and Education


Plomin Hard Talk Video (Click))  

 We all share 99% of the same D.N.A. Our traits are influenced around 50% of genetic.   

Genetics is probabilistic rather than determinist. This is because cocktails thousands of genes are involved.

Genetic nudges. Some children are inclined to be good at maths. They are nudged towards be interested in it.

Polygenic scores. We can predict about 10% of the difference in weight.  

The difference in adopted twins illustrates their traits reflect their birth parents.

The Bells Curve that was published in the 1990s had racial implications associated to it.

This is why gentic research is controversial. We can now see D.N.A.

Plomin research appears to smother the human concept of betterment

If you do not succeed try, try again. Can they be viewed as dangerous?

Plomin Try, try and again – if you cannot succeed – give up?

We can change. Better to go with the flow.

Plomin claims he is not very good at learning languages. We can all learn foreign languages, but it will take a lot more time for people like him to do so.


Why do we impose one universal curriculum on children? Why do we not respect children’s strengths and weaknesses i.e. maths


Parents do matter. They do not make a difference. Schizophrenia was historical viewed as arising from poor parenting. Now it is recognised that it’s roots are genetic.

Plomin states that what runs in families in D.N.A. and on average, the genetic influence is about 50%, which means that 50% is not genetic. Different from Freud environmental theories.

The correlation of weight adopted in a family where there two children are of different parents is zero. Note this refers to correlation, not polygenic scores.  


Plomin argues that schools matter, but they do not make a difference. Selective schools make no difference. When selective school entry criteria is taken into account, there is no difference.

Education should not be pushing it in. It should be drawing it out.

Interviewer. People can develop a very dystopian vision of the future. D.N.A tests can be purchased. Designer babies.

The positive attributes of genetics are as negative.

D.N.A. indicates the risks. i.e. like alcoholism.


Plomin suggests that there a whole range of activities is influenced are heritable. He refers to no trait not been influenced by hereditary…intelligence, mathematical ability, writing, music ability, happiness, depression, empathy and aggression, leadership and even television.

This because there are psychological characteristics that reflect the physical structures of our brain and that our genes contribute to that structure.

Weather – How you perceive it. Trauma is devastating. Some people will be more resilient.

We consider the normal variations in the sample, the normal bell-shaped curve


Trauma and abuse are outside the normal variations. This can also arise with some weird genetic effect. There can be a single gene effect

Of Plomins five principles nurture and non-shared environment sort of thing, and we only have these findings because we have genetic designs that consider environment ins what genetically sensitive sort of design is.

The bottom line is that there a lot of traits like personality; there is not much evidence for changes in hereditability that is the extent to which inherited D.N.A. differences are important explaining the variance between traits. When it changes, it tends to go. 

It tends to go up during one's lives. Genetics is not static. The clearest is intelligence.

Sometimes 5% needs to be explained. 50% is a lot of variance. 80% is huge.


Genes do not work by themselves; they become phenotypes through the use of the environment.

Musically gifted children are difficult to spot from their developing musical ability.

They create environments that correlate with their genetic propensity i.e. baning on pots.

Genes nudge people in different directions. Differences snowball as life go on.

The end of snowballing difference old people watching the news and while others are intellectually active.

We have not become who we are naturally just because of genes. Cannot remove the opportunities.

Genes D.N.A. cannot in themselves do not do anything. They push towards doing things. It needs an environment. It is not deterministic.

Equal on average, is the genetic measure. Irrespective of the genetic weight propensity i.e. B.M.I. You will lose weight if you each. (H.G. If we do not use what we learn, we lose is i.e. Languages).


Where do free will come in? What is the impact of what is known about D.N.A.

There can be family risks if for instance, you are brought up in a family of alcoholics (H.G. smoking).

It can be said in that family A has genetic risk and his brother B is not.

We all know the consequences of low I.Q.

There is a tough dilemma over intelligence. Part on the quantitative distribution.

It had for university-educated parents find it difficult to accept their children do not do well.

People must accept different from how siblings are.

At the very least, those with a lower polygenic score for intelligence and educational achievement. Need to illustrate that some children are not ‘cut out’ to go to university. There no training and apprentice programs in England.

You could attempt to force a child to work hard to go to university. Should they go with the flow. Maximise their strength and lower their weaknesses.

The is the problem of selection for the best schools and university.


Polygenic scores only predict the differences of 14% of I.Q. and little bit higher educational attainment. (It is unclear what this precisely means).

Claim that the correlation between intelligence and school attainment is .74 starting a 2 to 7.

Plomin claims the 2 years achievement can be established.

Claim I.Q. that was a 0.74 at age 2 correlation with later attainment.

Plomin genetics is the only thing that be predicted from birth.

Infant weight at birth does not predict later weight.

Dyslexia cannot be tested in children until they can read at 2, 3, and 4 years.

They tend to have earlier language problems.

Interviewer - Question ask 14% claimed for I.Q. means much variation cannot be explained.

University parents expect their children to university. If they do not have the genetic propensity, they will need to work harder to do so than a sibling with a higher propensity.

Plomin refers to his having more potential than his sister. His parents and her should not be blamed for her lower achievement.

We are multidimensional

Intelligence is the most difficult of all.

All intelligence disorders are on the scale of distributions.


G.S.C.E. last years polygenic we could only explain 10% of the variance.

80% top percentile go to university. 25% bottom percentile. This reflects 0.45 of variance explains that explains 16% of the correlation.

Genetics is not a perfect prediction. No evidence for environmental influence.


Plomin if you take genetics and behaviour it is causal. There is no backward causation. 

The brain is no changing the D.N.A. sequences.

Achievement only researched in childhood. Set national curriculum. Cut down on environmental variation. They may not be significantly different.

Schools in England are probably done enough.

Class size makes 1% different. Want schools to be a good place to want to be.

Advanced children need to be nutured. Instruction shoves information intp the child. Education draw out.

Exciting about personal education. Computers can allow children to learn at their own rate.

English press arguing against you Plomin. Nasty.

There is upward and downward social mobility.

Half the variance is not genetic.


Plomin arguments are complex and can be easily misunderstood. In simplest terms of any international sports person is concerned that must practice intensively and regulate their lives to perform on the world stage. Despite this they will not be capable of achieving the same absolute level of performance.

Although Polmin refers to genres giving us a nudge, they appear to offer more than that when working memory and white matter is concerned. Learning is always going to be harder to achieve for others. None of us enjoying things we cannot do well. Reading can be hard work for children.