There is now ever increasing evidence from reliable cognitive and neuro-science research that the learning potential of children can and never will be equal. Our brains are unique as our faces, both in terms of structure and also what they contain. Any given level of learning will be always be more difficult for certain children to achieve than others, especially in the basic skills.
Research from the Cambridge University Brian centre has identified white matter in the brain that shows physical evidence that indicates dyslexia. There was a time when educational authorities would not accept that dyslexia existed. There was time when children who had it were punished for not working hard enough.
Plomin research on genetics is viewed as controversial, but the fact that adopted children resemble their birth parents more than their adopted parents is not. He has done a lot of work on identical twins, who were split between two different adopted parents. Genetic have around a 50% influence on children's physical and cognitive development.
Plomins theories are controversial is the degree genetics influence children's behaviour and learning. He argues that parents have far less influence on children's development that it is believed.
Plomin contends that educating children widens the gap of children's attainment. This is consistent with children's working memory, which research suggests is the outcome from the effect of genes. It is like innate running capacity. There are natural limits how fast children can run however hard they try.
The curse of working memory is that children with higher working memory will be more equipped to develop fluency in accelerated timescales, but those with average and lower than average working memory will have still have less working memory to apply.
It is predictable that most children who struggle to learn their multiplication tables will have low working memory capacity. They will also experience difficulty in learning to read.
Working memory relates to the brains processing capacity. There us increasing evidence that it is related to white matter, which is the motorway of the brain, connecting the hemispheres and the different centres in the brain. What may be referred to as hubs. Those with higher working memory capacity have faster, more efficient connections.
The problem with the concept of 'catch up' is that implies that children are 'behind' and that they are able to 'catch up'. If reading is considered, for instance, there will be children, whose reading development is retarded, they will not be reaching their full reading potential at any given age, while others, who are 'behind', will be at, their learning potential. Plomin contends that half the population will always be average
The fundamental hypocrisy that has existed in the educational system is that whilst there has been a reluctance to accept that children's learning potential is not equal, they are being constantly graded, branded like eggs, and the message being given to a proportion to them is that they are not very good at learning.
There are children who are the stars of the school, who go to Oxford or Cambridge University who struggle to cope with learning with students, who are more talented than they are. None us like failing to achieve. Children who struggle to read will prefer not to do it.
There is research in United States that illustrates that even when children 'catch up' that it is not always sustained.
Socpie Aims for 2019
Socpie addressed important issues in 2018 in respect of the proposal that all children in Wales should be educated through the medium of Welsh. There public had been misinformed and a lot of "Tom, Dicks and Mary's" became embroiled in the debate, who possessed an impoverished understanding of what a deep issue it was. Children will always learn most effectively in their native language.
Socpie first 2019 aim is to address the issue of Welsh for Adult tutors, who has been misinforming the Welsh public about learning issues and who are offering parents and even children impoverished and even reckless learning advice.
Accepting that there is and there will be simple answers to complex educational problems children's learning interests must always come first, however politically unpalatable tbst is.
1. Welsh Language issues are very emotional issues in Wales, but there are no simple answers to how the Welsh language can be saved. Children's learning interests must come first. The issue of language learning and Welsh medium are deep educational issues.
2. The Pisa international rankings and estimated scores are farcical. They do not allow valid comparisons of children's performance in different countries. Doing well in Pisa should not be the sole focus of countries educational policies.
3. The taboo that all children's learning potential is equal most be cast to the history book. Children who are below average should not be viewed as failures. There are no simple answers to this problem.
4. The concept of a 21st Century Curriculum is a commendable one, but it must be based upon pure pedagogic foundations. There are a myriad of political educational initiatives that have been tried and failed. The classical curriculum should not unquestionably adandoned.
5. There are no other profession that has to confront "Tom, Dicks, and Mary's" misleading the public through playing being teachers, researchers and authorities on education. Legally only Q.T.S and Q.T.L.S. teachers in Wales and Scotland are entitled to call themselves teachers. These people need to be exposed.
6. The Welsh for Adult Service that Teachers must use to learn Welsh for Teaching purposes and parents, who do not speak Welsh, who want to learning Welsh to support their children's learning remains substandard. There has been 'fake news' disseminated about learning issues.