CogniFit's Science blog: Home Is The Key For Academic Achievement

Home Is The Key For Academic Achievement

I believe that most parents, if not all, want the best for their children and will as a consequence invest in their future. This includes first of all, to invest in the development of their brain and their knowledge, providing resources for their adult life.

In the development of knowledge, education plays the most important role. One of the main steps for parents is to choose the right school. In most countries, public private schools systems coexist and compete against each other to some extent, and therefore the first choice will be between one or the other.

Statistics show that students in private schools score better results than in public schools. The immediate conclusion of this is that if parents want (or are able to) invest the amount needed on private school education; their kids will have a higher chance of success in life. True? Yes, but there is a difference between correlation and causality that is important here.

Are the kids in private schools having better results because of the private schools, or is there something before that influencing their success? Many studies have been produced on this area – what influences educational achievement. Although the raw data indicates students in private schools are higher achievers, the reason for it doesn’t seem to be the choice of school system.

The largest but often forgotten influence for student achievement is what they have, do and see at home. If the parents are educated, the probability that they will give incentives for their kids to learn more, to have access to knowledge and culture, is higher. There is a measure of motivation and incentives here, but also a measure explained by the neuroscience – the more the kids are exposed and challenged to learn more, the more their cognition will develop over time. That is the concept of brain plasticity translated into life.

This means in other words, regardless of the school system those kids go to, they are at the start more likely to be high achievers than other kids with lower access to knowledge and lower motivation to learn at home. The fact that those highly educated parents will choose to have their kids in private schools is a consequence.

The topic discussed in this article is extremely important, not only for the individuals, but also to the society. Although many stories exist about uneducated people rising to the top, the reality for most is that education is the single most important enabler of equality in a society. And regardless of one may think in terms of the system to choose, it is at home that the brain plasticity is developed.