« People Still Want Public Schools | Main | Preschool Benefits Last »

'Educational Genomics' in the Classroom

Anything that helps teachers design their instruction to meet the unique needs and interests of their students is worthwhile considering.  The latest example is "educational genomics" ("How genetics could help future learners unlock hidden potential," the conversation.com, Nov. 15). 

Teachers have long known that students have different learning styles.  For the most part, they are hard wired, with genes playing a large role.  But it's not until now that genetic variants that contribute to these traits have been identified. As a result, it may soon be possible to create a tailor-made curriculum based on a student's DNA profile. Genomics is built on what is known about genetics but goes beyond by relying on technical advances in DNA sequencing and computational biology.

Just as each person has a unique set of fingerprints, so too does each person possess a unique DNA.  But that does not mean biology is destiny in education. The environment of the classroom and the personality of the teacher still are important.  I had several students who possessed obvious musical and artistic talent.  The best I could do was to allow them to use these gifts in my English class in non-traditional ways.  For example, instead of asking them to write a traditional essay on a given topic, I let them express their views in musical and artistic ways.

Yet I wonder how many other students had less visible talent.  Perhaps genomics would have alerted me to their individual differences.  That's what's so exciting about this new field. 

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments