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The Mysteries of Identical Twinning and how they can help in Education
Kathryn Asbury, Department of Education, University of York

  • Friday 12 June 2015, 5.00PM to 6pm
  • Free admission
    Booking required
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  • H/G21, Heslington Hall, University of York (map)

Event details

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Identical twins share all of their genes and are usually brought up in the same home and attend the same schools.  In spite of their shared biology and experience they are often strikingly different from each other in their abilities, behaviour and choices.  Kathryn Asbury will share stories from the 16-year-old twins who took part in her latest study and will draw implications from this research for schools and teachers.

Kathryn and colleagues spoke to hundreds of pairs of UK twins and their parents about their GCSE results, their hopes for the future, and their health and well-being.  Some twins described major differences in achievement, life plans and mental and physical health. They also described the experiences that contributed to these differences, including teacher-pupil relationships and bullying.

Their explanations suggest new ways that schools can nurture young people.  This is crucially important as pupils prepare to move on to further and higher education and employment.  Because differences between identical twins can only be caused by experience – their genes are all the same – these twins offer us a unique view on what works in education.  They also give us a window into the experience and influence of being an identical twin.  

This talk would be of interest to families of twins and to young people aged 14+.  It may be of particular interest to VI Formers studying Psychology A Level and their teachers, and to local twin clubs.  

This talk is followed by a free wine reception afterwards for an opportunity to meet the speaker.

About the speaker

Kathryn Asbury is a Lecturer in the University of York’s Department of Education and has worked on the UK Twins’ Early Development Study (TEDS) for the last 14 years.  She is the author, with Robert Plomin, of G is for Genes, a book which explains how genetics are relevant to education and how the study of twins can help.  The study she will present in this talk was funded by the Nuffield Foundation. 

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