The Psychology of Student Outcomes
In Psychology classes, you’ll always encounter the debate about the impact of nature and nurture on a child in their later years. While we may never find a lasting solution to this debate, it does provide useful insights into why some students realize more success than others in similar academic environments.
Modern schools have come a long way since the dawn of human civilizations. Still, there is a stark contrast between certain academic centers that lend credence to the nurture vs. nature debate. Normally, a learning environment has a significant impact on how a student will end up after completing their education. That’s why privately-funded institutions register more success than most public schools.
Some schools are tailored for academic excellence as they have every academic infrastructure needed to ensure students excel in their studies. Most Ivy League institutions have state-of-the-art libraries, science facilities, sports complexes, and even a stress-relieving environment to ensure students are hardly distracted while in class.
On the other end, poorly funded schools hardly encourage academic excellence. With classrooms that are falling apart and the lack of essential facilities for learning, it is no wonder, then, how they experience phenomenal dropout rates.
Besides their learning environments, kids can be exposed to counterproductive belief systems that hamper their performance in school. For instance, a commonly held belief is that boys and girls excel at different subjects. When your child is fed such indoctrination early in life, they tend to actualize such in their later years, even if such beliefs are false.
Educators play an essential role in countering harmful biases. For starters, teachers should encourage their students, whether boys or girls, that they aren’t limited by gender, race, or socio-economic background. Regardless of where a student comes from, they can succeed in school if they put in the effort. A study by the Stanford University of Wisconsin indicated that once the backgrounds of students are eliminated, students tend to enjoy a level playing field in school.
Clearly, proponents of the impact of nurture on academic performance seem to be winning the debate. Nevertheless, studying our genes and how they affect academic performance is not easy. Where possible, researchers could use DNA markers to identify special needs students early in their academic life. Students with a disadvantaged ‘nature’ can then benefit from intervention programs early in their lives and prevent protracted sessions in school where they have to repeat classes.
There is a ton of information supporting either side of the nature vs. nurture debate. While there isn’t a straight solution to this problem, education stakeholders can better understand the impact of a child’s psychology on their academic outcome. With this knowledge, educators can tailor classroom lessons to better suit all students despite their different abilities.