Predicting Children's Differences in School Performance
Children differ in the ability to learn, and these differences are (a) evident early in life and (b) stable over time. As a result, children's differences in primary school performance have lasting influence on all important later life outcomes, including socio-economic status, health, and well-being. The factor that is most strongly associated with children's differences in school performance is their family background that includes both nature and nurture. In this talk, Prof. von Stumm will share findings from a large-scale cross-cohort analysis that tracks the association between family background and children's school performance across the past century in the United Kingdom. Prof. von Stumm and her colleagues find that the influence of family background on school performance has remained fairly stable over the past 100 years, seemingly unaffected by changing economic factors or education policies. Possible reasons for the pervasive, continuous influence of family background on children's learning outcomes will be discussed.