I spent a huge amount of time as a kid reading and drawing and writing and just day-dreaming by myself. Probably not good training for the modern workplace with "open office" plans and whatnot, but it seemed pretty good at the time.
To this day I prefer "divide and conquer" style "collaboration" (if you can call it that), though I admit that brainstorming and debates are powerful if used judiciously (which leads me to believe that schools tended make group work out of work that shouldn't have been assigned to groups)
In a specialized environment where everyone actually cares about the subject, group work can be fantastic. This is why hackathons and similar settings are good things - everyone is there to learn, and you don't have demotivated people who are content to sit there and do diddly-shit.
In contrast, in your standard class, where most people couldn't care less, the result is that the one motivated person in the group does the bulk of the work, everyone else gives a token effort, and then educators pat themselves on the back for "facilitating peer collaboration" or whatever the ed-speak buzzword is.
Edit: The fun part is that teachers know that this is what happens, and the result is that group projects end up being hilariously easy if you get a group of kids who actually care. They're built for one person to do!
But why is collaboration THE core, such that "Everything we do, in the classroom or at home, has to be built on that foundation." ... I could argue that good collaboration is built on a solid foundation of being able to think and act for yourself.
This is something people don't talk about enough. Kids are literally the future of humanity. If we want to improve our society, we should put more focus on helping parents raise their children and on helping teachers educate them.
The best thing you can teach a kid is "don't copy me; half of what I think and do is probably wrong".
False or at least not sufficient, the future of humanity is also what we do NOW. Since our actions will have a direct impact on the environment they live in. Focusing on kids only is a false dichotomy.
I really wish we would stop with the "it's not science" mantra. Science is composed of five steps: observation, inference, conjecture, experimentation, validation. Any single one of these can be called science.
Besides, there's plenty of crap made up that is backed by data. Data is not a holy grail.
No, it's not. Math isn't science either.
Also, for fuck's sake, science is rooted in intuitive inferences based on data, not logical conclusions based on data.
I'm not going to risk my child's life cargo culting behavior of others when there is no sound evidence supporting it.
They're not science.
My wife and I were just talking about this idea at dinner. There's this really deeply held belief that you have to struggle with something in order to learn it and value it. It shows up everywhere in our society. From the title, I was hoping this article had some data either for or against, because I'm interested. It reminds me of some of the new thinking going on like the basic income project YC is running - maybe struggling is only valuable sometimes, maybe sometimes it's harmful and only slows progress.
One thing we've noticed with our kids is that they learn some things faster if we give them the answer without making them struggle or stop to do "constructive thinking" or whatever. This has made me start thinking about how animals learn things by example. We don't withhold the right way to say things from babies, we just show them and tell them, repeatedly.
We tried to use allowance to get them to value and budget their money and earn their keep with chores. It was a constant battle. We switched to allowance comes with no strings, and they can spend their own money on whatever they want. Chores are simply an unassociated responsibility that can't be questioned, and it's like night and day - they do extra chores to win approval, and they're saving up for months for games and game consoles they want.
This stoplight parable is an unfortunate example of an arbitrary human system, they could have used something from the natural world instead. Making a kid stop to just guess at the answer is, I'm sure, about as fun as when kids ask me "Guess what?". I'm running out of dad-joke responses.
I think a lot of people have had an experience where they felt as if they understood something but then after grappling with it they gained a deeper understanding. I certainly think that the things I understand the most are things that I've spent time struggling with. But you're right that most things aren't like that. You can get a fantastic working understanding of most things simply by reading about them or being told about them.
I suspect that both learning to struggle persistently and learning to integrate new knowledge that has been explained to you are important.
I'm also wondering if there are certain kinds of knowledge and/or values that struggling helps with. Perhaps certain phases of learning a topic. Or maybe it works on some people and not others. Or maybe mood and context make us receptive sometimes, and at others times we need it beaten into us. I really don't know, I just see that we tend to tell stories that struggle is always necessary, and I'm seeing lots of counter-examples, and starting to wonder if the struggle is sometimes counter-productive and more useful as a tool for some jobs than a dogmatic blanket generalization.
Decent overview of the origin here: http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2012/03/the-origin-o... Most interesting, they originally used white for "go", but ran into big problems when the red colored lens fell out by mishap!
Leaving aside heritability, the environment in which the child will grow up is more or less set in concrete by the time they are born. This includes the parents socio-economic level, but more importantly to that, their attitudes towards relationships, learning, critical thought, reading, victim vs control personality and plenty more. A house without books doesn't fill with books when the child arrives.
Pretty much by the time the first cry is made, a huge chunk of their future is already written. The margin is small, but, having said that, small changes at the margin can make a big difference in individuals.
I know some people with amazing private school education flounder because of it. They saw crazy competition early in life and it seems decided to settle. I had very little competition in my early years. Being the smartest kid in your undergrad makes you feel really good, and motivates you to do better. Where I really needed guidance is going from the sheltered world to reality (early 20s .. when I entered the workforce and subsequently made the decision to get a PhD).
What I want to try to do is teach my kid to have her own hobbies and be generally happy in life.
I've known a number of people to whom it did the opposite—they were always the smartest person in the room, so when they said something, people just assumed they were correct. And they began relying on it; nobody would call them on their bullshit, so they never felt the urge to think very hard about things. Whatever they came up with, they'd think "well, I'm the smartest person around, so I must be right", and that's as far as they'd get.
One guy got very argumentative about it; he'd say the stupidest things, and didn't know how to handle being wrong. Other people figured it out.
Studying Mathematics is really, really good for that :-)
Of course outliers exist and some very successful people come from very dysfunctional families. But if you look at enough people, they come out in temperament and attitude very similar to their family. The really surprising thing is how often one family will produce two top level musicians or sports players.
I think the tragedy is that people recognize their potential (especially as children) and expect them to perform as if they had none (especially if they develop flaws later in life or are inconsistent and excel in only some circumstances.)
Also take a look at the caveats section there though. It's technically possible that we're doing something which we could stop doing and vastly improve IQ; however once that became standard, the inheritance correlation would be higher, not lower.
Measuring the heritability of IQ-type intelligence is inherently difficult; but outside of sociology departments, there is effective consensus that the correlation is at least half.
Also, I would conjecture that there's a publication bias in favour of finding that nurture tops nature; because it is what people want to be true. This is a special concern in publications from after rightfully-unpopular negative eugenics programmes.
Citation needed. When did they isolate the gene(s) for IQ test scores? Have they isolated genes for other tests as well?
First, here is a list of GCTA studies which show, using a method comparing the genetic similarity of unrelated people (thereby avoiding all of the criticisms of the twin and family studies) that there are (lower bound) large contributions of common SNP genetic variants causing education (8 samples), socioeconomic status (5): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genome-wide_complex_trait_anal... brain size & structure (3), intelligence (17), and various measures of reaction time, memory, attention, reading, emotional understanding etc: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genome-wide_complex_trait_anal... These demonstrate that the outcomes are indeed heritable and the old criticisms moot and wrong.
Second, recent GWASes have had success in identifying educational & intelligence variants. (Since education is caused by intelligence, both on the phenotype and genetic levels, they often amount to the same thing; for example, in Rietveld et al 2013, the polygenic score created for predicting education turned out to predict intelligence even better in the Swedish draft cohort which happened to have IQ scores available.) What tokenadult fails to mention in his bibliography, even though I've called him out on this before, is that candidate-gene studies are totally obsolete and no one has done them for years, precisely because GWASes revealed they're useless and so everyone switched to GWASes with proper sample sizes, and surprise surprise, it worked... tokenadult ends his bibliography where it ought to begin. Anyway, the current state of the art is 162 SNPs at genome-wide statistical-significance, published in Okbay et al 2016's appendix by combining the SSGAC with the UK Biobank. Here are some (but not all, because the field keeps growing and it can be hard to keep track of all the papers reporting or replicating hits) relevant papers:
- Rietveld et al 2013 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3751588/ "GWAS of 126,559 Individuals Identifies Genetic Variants Associated with Educational Attainment"; supplement: http://www.gwern.netdocs/iq/2013-rietveld-supplementary-revi...
- "Genome-wide association studies establish that human intelligence is highly heritable and polygenic" http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/v16/n10/full/mp201185a.html Davies et al 2011
- "Common DNA Markers Can Account for More Than Half of the Genetic Influence on Cognitive Abilities" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3652710/ , Plomin et al 2013
- "Intelligence indexes generalist genes for cognitive abilities" http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289613... Trzaskowski et al 2013
- "Results of a 'GWAS Plus': General Cognitive Ability Is Substantially Heritable and Massively Polygenic" http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjourna... , Kirkpatrick et al 2014
- "Common genetic variants associated with cognitive performance identified using the proxy-phenotype method" http://www.pnas.org/content/111/38/13790.full.pdf#page=1&vie... , Rietveld et al 2014; supplementary information http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2014/09/06/1404623111.DCSu...
- "Substantial SNP-based heritability estimates for working memory performance" http://www.nature.com/tp/journal/v4/n9/full/tp201481a.html , Vogler et al 2014
- "Genetic Variation Associated with Differential Educational Attainment in Adults Has Anticipated Associations with School Performance in Children" http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjourna... , Ward et al 2014
- "Thinking positively: The genetics of high intelligence" http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289614...
- "The genetic architecture of pediatric cognitive abilities in the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort" https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4294962/ , Robinson et al 2015
- "Genetic contributions to variation in general cognitive function: a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in the CHARGE consortium (_n_=53949)" http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/mp2014188... , Davies et al 2015
- "Genome-wide association study of cognitive functions and educational attainment in UK Biobank (_n_=112151)" http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/mp201645... , Davies et al 2016
- "The Genetics of Success: How Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms Associated With Educational Attainment Relate to Life-Course Development" http://www.gwern.net/docs/genetics/2016-belsky.pdf , Belsky et al 2016
- "Genome-wide association study identifies 74  loci associated with educational attainment" http://www.gwern.net/docs/iq/2016-okbay-2.pdf , Okbay et al 2016
So the answers to your questions are: 2013; yes.
"Independent researcher" (w/ a link to the bibliographies of yours that I just looked through) might be a better term.
"But back to the question: What does heritability mean? Almost everyone who has ever thought about heritability has reached a commonsense intuition about it: One way or another, heritability has to be some kind of index of how genetic a trait is. That intuition explains why so many thousands of heritability coefficients have been calculated over the years. . . .
"Unfortunately, that fundamental intuition is wrong. Heritability isn't an index of how genetic a trait is. A great deal of time has been wasted in the effort of measuring the heritability of traits in the false expectation that somehow the genetic nature of psychological phenomena would be revealed. There are many reasons for making this strong statement, but the most important of them harkens back to the description of heritability as an effect size. An effect size of the R2 family is a standardized estimate of the proportion of the variance in one variable that is reduced when another variable is held constant statistically. In this case it is an estimate of how much the variance of a trait would be reduced if everyone were genetically identical. With a moment's thought you can see that the answer to the question of how much variance would be reduced if everyone was genetically identical depends crucially on how genetically different everyone was in the first place."
Johnson, Wendy; Turkheimer, Eric; Gottesman, Irving I.; Bouchard Jr., Thomas (2009). Beyond Heritability: Twin Studies in Behavioral Research. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18, 4, 217-220
"Moreover, even highly heritable traits can be strongly manipulated by the environment, so heritability has little if anything to do with controllability. For example, height is on the order of 90% heritable, yet North and South Koreans, who come from the same genetic background, presently differ in average height by a full 6 inches (Pak, 2004; Schwekendiek, 2008)."
Deary, I. J., Penke, L., & Johnson, W. (2010). The neuroscience of human intelligence differences. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 11(3), 201-211.
"At this point, it seems unlikely that single genetic loci have major effects on normal-range intelligence. For example, a modestly sized genome-wide study of the general intelligence factor derived from ten separate test scores in the cAnTAB cognitive test battery did not find any important genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms or copy number variants, and did not replicate genetic variants that had previously been associated with cognitive ability[note 48]."
Johnson, W. (2010). Understanding the Genetics of Intelligence: Can Height Help? Can Corn Oil?. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19(3), 177-182
"Together, however, the developmental natures of GCA [general cognitive ability] and height, the likely influences of gene-environment correlations and interactions on their developmental processes, and the potential for genetic background and environmental circumstances to release previously unexpressed genetic variation suggest that very different combinations of genes may produce identical IQs or heights or levels of any other psychological trait. And the same genes may produce very different IQs and heights against different genetic backgrounds and in different environmental circumstances. This would be especially the case if height and GCA and other psychological traits are only single facets of multifaceted traits actually under more systematic genetic regulation, such as overall body size and balance between processing capacity and stimulus reactivity. Genetic influences on individual differences in psychological characteristics are real and important but are unlikely to be straightforward and deterministic."
Johnson, W., Penke, L., & Spinath, F. M. (2011). Understanding Heritability: What it is and What it is Not. European Journal of Personality, 25(4), 287-294. DOI: 10.1002/per.835
"Our target article was intended to provide background knowledge to psychologists and other social scientists on the subject of heritability. This statistic, in many ways so basic, is both extremely powerful in revealing the presence of genetic inﬂuence and very weak in providing much information beyond this. Many forms of measurement error, statistical artefact, violation of underlying assumptions, gene–environment interplay, epigenetic mechanisms and no doubt processes we have not yet even identiﬁed can contribute to the magnitudes of heritability estimates. If psychologists and other social scientists want to understand genetic involvement in behavioural traits, we believe that it is going to be necessary to distinguish among these possibilities to at least some degree. Heritability estimates alone are not going to help us do this."
Turkheimer, E. (2011). Genetics and human agency (Commentary on Dar-Nimrod & Heine, 2011). Psychological Bulletin, 137, 825-828. DOI: 10.1037/a0024306
"That heritability depends on the population in which it is measured is one of the most frequently repeated caveats in the social sciences, but it is nevertheless often forgotten in the breach. (For example, it is nearly meaningless for Dar-Nimrod and Heine to note that 'heritability [of intelligence is] typically estimated to range from .50 to .85' [p. 805]. The heritability of intelligence isn’t anything, and even placing it in a range is misleading. Making a numerical point estimate of the heritability of intelligence is akin to saying, 'Social psychologists usually estimate the F ratio for the fundamental attribution error to be between 2.0 and 4.0.') The observation that genotypic variation accounts for 90% of the variation in height in the modern world depends on the variability of genotype and environment relevant to height. Among cloned animals with widely varying diets, body size is perfectly environmental with heritability of 0; in genetically variable animals raised in identical environments heritability is 1.0. This is no mere statistical fine point: it means that the entire project of assessing how essentially genetic traits are in terms of measured heritability coefficients is a fool’s errand."
Chabris, C. F., Hebert, B. M., Benjamin, D. J., Beauchamp, J., Cesarini, D., van der Loos, M., ... & Laibson, D. (2012). Most reported genetic associations with general intelligence are probably false positives. Psychological science, 23(11), 1314-1323. DOI: 10.1177/0956797611435528
"At the time most of the results we attempted to replicate were obtained, candidate-gene studies of complex traits were commonplace in medical genetics research. Such studies are now rarely published in leading journals. Our results add IQ to the list of phenotypes that must be approached with great caution when considering published molecular genetic associations. In our view, excitement over the value of behavioral and molecular genetic studies in the social sciences should be tempered—as it has been in the medical sciences—by an appreciation that, for complex phenotypes, individual common genetic variants of the sort assayed by SNP microarrays are likely to have very small effects. Associations of candidate genes with psychological traits and other traits studied in the social sciences should be viewed as tentative until they have been replicated in multiple large samples. Doing otherwise may hamper scientific progress by proliferating potentially false results, which may then influence the research agendas of scientists who do not appreciate that the associations they take as a starting point for their efforts may not be real. And the dissemination of false results to the public risks creating an incorrect perception about the state of knowledge in the field, especially the existence of genes described as being 'for' traits on the basis of unintentionally inflated estimates of effect size and statistical significance."
The more important question is how much shared environment contributes to the variation in intelligence between individuals and the answer to that is basically zero.
Particularly ironic since the 2 authors previous book was "Einstein Never Used Flash Cards"... and Einstein managed to publish brownian motion, photo electric effect, and special relativity during his annus mirabilis in 1905, while working at the patent office... no collaboration involved just lots of deep thought.
I think we would have much more "brilliant children" if parents wouldn't fuck up.
Child abuse, child neglect, domestic violence in general.
And this is "just" the parent factor in the equation.
Then there is the social circle that can fuck up things pretty badly too.
I know so many people who could be brilliant, but they are simply broken beyond repair.
Most K12 schools haven't been like that for 30 years now.
Again that myth is coming back? Who believes in that fake 10000 hour rule ? There's nothing tangible that demonstrates that this rule is true in practice. The book where it comes from is also focusing on outliers, so that does not make that rule stick in any way since it's derived only from exceptions, i.e. clear survivor bias.
For example we had to be nice to adults and authority figures just because. If somebody had told me that it's in general good to be nice to other people because they will treat you nicely too I think my social development had been much better.
I don't think I ever had a satisfying conversation with my dad.
It's certainly possible, and very much worth doing, but I wouldn't call it easy.