Nature, nurture, and perceptions of the classroom environment as they relate to teacher-assessed academic achievement: A twin study of nine-year-olds

Sheila O. Walker, Robert Plomin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although prior research has examined children's perceptions of the classroom environment as related to academic achievement, genetically sensitive designs have not been employed. In the first study of its kind for the primary school classroom environment, data were collected for 3,020 pairs of nineyearold identical and fraternal twin pairs in same and different classrooms on their perceptions in six domains: social integration, opportunity, adventure, general satisfaction, negative affect, and teachers. Data were also collected for teacherassessed academic achievement (ACH). Modest genetic influence was found for children's perceptions of the classroom environment: an average of .33, .06, .25, .27, .19, and .20 of the variance, respectively. Nonshared environment played a more influential role, accounting for an average of .58, .78, .64, .60, .69, and .65 of the variance, respectively. Negative affect, adventure, social integration, and opportunity were significantly, albeit modestly, associated with ACH. Results suggest that perceptions of the classroom environment are driven primarily by childspecific experiences, and that such perceptions, although experientially important, are less important for ACH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-561
Number of pages21
JournalEducational Psychology
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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