Έρευνα: Τα γονίδια κρίνουν ποιος μαθητής θα μπει στο… πανεπιστήμιο

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Δεν έχει να κάνει μόνο με το διάβασμα ή με την τύχη το αν θα μπει ένας μαθητής στο πανεπιστήμιο, ιδίως σε ένα «καλό» πανεπιστήμιο, αλλά και με τα γονίδιά του, σύμφωνα με μια νέα βρετανική γενετική επιστημονική μελέτη. Το ίδιο ισχύει και για το πόσο πετυχημένη θα είναι η μετέπειτα πορεία του ως φοιτητής.

Οι επιστήμονες του Βασιλικού Κολλεγίου (King’s) του Λονδίνου, που μελέτησαν στοιχεία για 3.000 ζεύγη διδύμων, προκειμένου να βρουν σε ποιό βαθμό υπάρχει γενετικό υπόβαθρο στην απόφαση και στην ικανότητα ενός νέου να εισαχθεί στο πανεπιστήμιο, κατέληξαν στο συμπέρασμα ότι ο γενετικός παράγοντας δεν παίζει καθόλου αμελητέο ρόλο, σε συνδυασμό ασφαλώς με περιβαλλοντικούς και κοινωνικούς παράγοντες.

Τα γονίδια φαίνεται να επηρεάζουν ένα παιδί για το άν θα επιλέξει να συνεχίσει στην τριτοβάθμια εκπαίδευση, ποιά πανεπιστημιακή σχολή θα διαλέξει, αν θα τα καταφέρει να εισαχθεί σε αυτήν και πόσο καλά θα τα πάει στη συνέχεια ως φοιτητής. Τόσο οι βαθμοί των μαθητών στις εισαγωγικές εξετάσεις (A-level για τα βρετανικά πανεπιστήμια), όσο και κατόπιν των φοιτητών στις εξετάσεις στα μαθήματα του πανεπιστημίου, εν μέρει επηρεάζονται από το DNA του νέου.

Οι ερευνητές, με επικεφαλής τη δρα Έμιλι Σμιθ Γούλι, που έκαναν τη σχετική δημοσίευση στο περιοδικό «Scientific Reports», σύμφωνα με τις βρετανικές «Ιντιπέντεντ» και «Τέλεγκραφ» και το “New Scientist”, βρήκαν ότι το 57% των διαφορών μεταξύ των μαθητών στις εισαγωγικές εξετάσεις και το 46% των διαφορών μεταξύ των φοιτητών στις πανεπιστημιακές εξετάσεις σχετίζονται με τα γονίδια. Η ίδια η επιλογή ενός μαθητή αν θα πάει στο πανεπιστήμιο ή όχι, φαίνεται να επηρεάζεται σε ποσοστό περίπου 50% από το DNA του. Οι λοιπές διαφορές στις επιδόσεις αποδίδονται σε άλλους παράγοντες, όπως το εισόδημα και ο πλούτος της οικογένειας του μαθητή ή του φοιτητή, η ποιότητα της προηγούμενης εκπαίδευσής του στο σχολείο, η υποστήριξη από την οικογένεια και τους φίλους του, αν οι γονείς έχουν πάει πανεπιστήμιο, αν η κυβέρνηση λαμβάνει μέτρα στήριξης των παιδιών από φτωχά νοικοκυριά που θέλουν να μπουν στο πανεπιστήμιο κ.α.

«Δεν νομίζω ότι πραγματικά θα περίμενε οποιοσδήποτε ότι δεν υπάρχει μια γενετική επιρροή, όσον αφορά την επιτυχία στο πανεπιστήμιο, με δεδομένο ότι η εκπαιδευτική επίδοση, η νοημοσύνη, η προσωπικότητα και άλλα χαρακτηριστικά έχουν μια κληρονομική διάσταση», δήλωσε ο γενετιστής δρ Ντέηβιντ Χιλ του Πανεπιστημίου του Εδιμβούργου.

Θα μπορούσε άραγε στο μέλλον ένα γενετικό τεστ να προβλέπει αν θα πάει πανεπιστήμιο ένα παιδί και αν θα γίνει δεκτό στο…Χάρβαρντ; Μάλλον δύσκολα θα συμβεί αυτό. Η μελέτη των διδύμων δεν ήταν σε θέση να συσχετίσει τις επιδόσεις των μαθητών και φοιτητών με συγκεκριμένα γονίδια. Οι ερευνητές έκαναν μια ανάλογη μελέτη με το DNA 3.000 όχι διδύμων, αλλά τυχαίων ανθρώπων, χρησιμοποιώντας ως βάση για τις αναλύσεις τους μια «πολυ-γονιδιακή βαθμολογία», που λαμβάνει υπόψη τις αθροιστικές επιδράσεις χιλιάδων γονιδίων, τα οποία στο παρελθόν έχουν συσχετισθεί με τις εκπαιδευτικές επιδόσεις. Οι επιστήμονες μπόρεσαν να αποδώσουν στα γονίδια μόνο το 5% των διαφορών στις επιδόσεις μεταξύ των νέων, ένα πολύ μικρότερο ποσοστό σε σχέση με την έρευνα στους διδύμους. Κάτι που απέδωσαν κυρίως στο γεγονός ότι μέχρι σήμερα έχει ανακαλυφθεί ένας μικρός μόνο αριθμός γονιδίων που επηρεάζουν το μορφωτικό επίπεδο.

Συνεπώς δεν υπάρχει η δυνατότητα, προς το παρόν τουλάχιστον, να αναπτυχθεί ένα γενετικό τεστ με προγνωστική ικανότητα για το πώς θα τα πάει ένα παιδί στο πανεπιστήμιο. «Βρήκαμε ότι μέχρι στιγμής μπορούμε να εξηγήσουμε γενετικά μόνο το 5% των ατομικών διαφορών όσον αφορά την επιτυχία στο πανεπιστήμιο. Είναι αρκετά μικρό αυτό το ποσοστό προς το παρόν, αλλά νομίζω ότι η επιστήμη σταδιακά προοδεύει, ώστε να φθάσουμε σε ένα σημείο όπου θα μπορούμε να κάνουμε προβλέψεις από το DNA και μόνο», δήλωσε αισιόδοξη η δρ Σμιθ-Γούλι.

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