Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Infrastructuring Educational Genomics: Associations, Architectures, and Apparatuses

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

You don't want to miss this article (30 page PDF). "Technoscientific developments in genomic methodologies have been promoted as a 'genomic revolution' for educational research and policy since around 2010," write the authors. "Behavior geneticists have begun studying what are taken to be traits and outcomes relevant to education, including cognitive ability, intelligence, educational attainment, achievement, and noncognitive skills." This article is a detailed examination of the traits being studied, the processes being used to study them, and the sorts of outcomes they're looking at (so detailed that it would benefit from an expanded and more accessible presentation than the typical journal publication allows). But is this research actually discovering any such correlations? The authors observe, "The knowledge claims of educational genomics are possible only due to the construction and operations of an underpinning scientific knowledge infrastructure." In particular, "social and environmental factors that underpin social and educational inequalities can be treated as biological qualities that are discoverable in the body." Moreover, "educational genomics privileges algorithmic correlations over causal biological explanations." See also: Darya Gaysina (2016) and the NY Times (2018) touting the idea; Philip Kerr on educational genomics (2018). Ben Williamson, also in 2018 (also here (OLDaily link)). James J. Lee, et al., polygenic prediction, in Nature, 2018, and a follow-up (2022). Image by Emily Willoughby.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 18, 2024 6:06 p.m.

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