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For instance, why do biological children sometimes act like their parents?

The Nature and Nurture of Learners

Is it because of genetic similarity, or the result of the early childhood environment and what children learn from their parents? We are all born with specific genetic traits inherited from our parents, such as eye color, height, and certain personality traits. There is a reciprocal interaction between nature and nurture as they both shape who we become, but the debate continues as to the relative contributions of each. Individual development, even of highly heritable traits such as eye color, depends not only on heritability but on a range of environmental factors, such as the other genes present in the organism and the temperature and oxygen levels during development.

The nature and nurture of education | Centre for Educational Neuroscience

Genes and the environment work together, communicating back and forth to create traits. However, some traits which reflect underlying talents and temperaments—such as how proficient at a language, how religious, or how liberal or conservative—can be partially heritable. This chart illustrates three patterns one might see when studying the influence of genes and environment on individual traits. Trait B shows a high heritability, since the correlation of the trait rises sharply with the degree of genetic similarity.

Much like how a memory works, we can remember where we were when something significant took place thanks to visual imprints.

Learning Triggers

Certain colours of walls, furniture, rooms, and landscapes can help us to recall something that we once 'learnt'. This has been developed into another theory of learning that you may have heard of.

Human Brain Development: Nature and Nurture (Davidson Films)

This theory suggests that if you chew gum whilst reading a text book, if you then chew gum during an exam on that text book, you are more likely to recall the information, much like triggers. Suggesting an understanding of your environment can benefit you if used in an effective way.


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In order to learn, there is usually some element of focus, whether this be natural focus i. Already a subscriber? Log in or link your magazine subscription.

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Photo: Universal Pictures. Sources Personality and Individual Differences.