Sunday, December 6, 2009

Are you a dandelion or an orchid?

I thought this piece was incredibly interesting. It is about the interplay between our genes and our environment. Some of us have plasticity (orchids) - in a warm, welcoming environment these people flourish, in a harsh aggressive environment, these people become problem children. Other people show less sensitivity to the environment (dandelions) and outperform the orchids in the bad environments but under perform in the welcoming environments.

The hypothesis in this article is that early development is where these interaction effects manifest. One can speculate on whether the early development effects can be reversed later in life. There is nothing on that in this piece. It might be interesting to try to tie the ideas in this article to your own notions of what makes students engaged or not.

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