Teacher quality moderates the genetic effects on early reading

J. Taylor, A. D. Roehrig, B. Soden Hensler, C. M. Connor, C. Schatschneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations

Abstract

Children's reading achievement is influenced by genetics as well as by family and school environments. The importance of teacher quality as a specific school environmental influence on reading achievement is unknown. We studied first- and second-grade students in Florida from schools representing diverse environments. Comparison of monozygotic and dizygotic twins, differentiating genetic similarities of 100% and 50%, provided an estimate of genetic variance in reading achievement. Teacher quality was measured by how much reading gain the non-twin classmates achieved. The magnitude of genetic variance associated with twins' oral reading fluency increased as the quality of their teacher increased. In circumstances where the teachers are all excellent, the variability in student reading achievement may appear to be largely due to genetics. However, poor teaching impedes the ability of children to reach their potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-514
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume328
Issue number5977
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 23 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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