“Nature or nurture … which is more influential?” Joan Wasser Gish asks in a recent Washington Post op-ed.
Wasser Gish is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Center for Optimized Student Support, which is part of Boston College’s Lynch School of Education. The center is also home to City Connects.
The answer to the nature/nurture question: Talent is evenly distributed across the population; opportunity is not. Particularly in low-income communities, environmental factors can limit students’ academic success.
“…developmental science helps us to understand why,” Wasser Gish writes. “Students who are exposed to poverty and adversities such as trauma, experience ‘toxic stress,’” that can have cascading negative effects in students’ lives.
To address these problems, Wasser Gish explains, schools can provide integrated student support.
“As researchers and educators better understand how to deliver integrated student support effectively,” Wasser Gish notes, “policymakers are stepping in to spread what works.”
To learn more, read the op-ed.