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Family Backgrounds Cause Impact on Student Performance in Mathematics

12/26/2017 - 12h54

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ANA ESTELA DE SOUSA PINTO
FROM SÃO PAULO

When it comes to performance in mathematics, children whose grandparents or great-grandparents are Japanese are one year ahead of students of an Iberian background (Portuguese or Spanish).

A study that resorted to an unprecedented method in Brazilian research - in which the origins of last names were mapped out - analysed how all students in the public school system performed on 3rd and 5th grade exams in elementary school.

According to Geraldo Silva Filho, a specialist in public policies, the conclusion arrived at was that student performance can be attributed to the existence of an "ancestral gift".

Among the reasons cited by students of Japanese descent for their higher performance were: the fear of letting their parents down; the need to perform well; the possibility of climbing the social ladder and a natural inclination toward learning.

Researchers' next step will be to look into the different explanations for the phenomenon. Among them is the notion that some cultures are more concerned with the long-term – they are willing to make sacrifices in the present in the name of better results in the future.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

Read the article in the original language

Zanone Fraissat/Folhapress
When it comes to performance in mathematics, children whose grandparents or great-grandparents are Japanese are one year ahead of students of an Iberian background
When it comes to performance in mathematics, children whose grandparents or great-grandparents are Japanese are one year ahead of students of an Iberian background

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