Home | News | No link between genes and reading ability, says academic

No link between genes and reading ability, says academic

Despite claims that reading ability is inherited, research from the Institute of Education (IOE) has found that there is insufficient evidence to show that there is a genetic link to children’s reading skills.

The report found that genes previously identified as important for reading ability only explain around 2 -3% of differences in reading test scores by family background.

Dr John Jerrim from the Institute of Education, University of London said, “Any suggestion that we are in a position to use genetics to drive education policy is more science fiction than science fact. This may change in the future – but with knowledge as it currently stands it should play very little role.

“Even if specific genes do influence children’s reading skills, there is little evidence that they are distributed unevenly across socio-economic groups”.

The report, which will be published by the British Educational Research Association in their leading journal BERJ concludes that there is insufficient evidence on the link between achievement and genetics and that there is a complex overlap in the relationship between social and biological which has not yet been fully investigated.

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