God grant me the serenityto accept the things I cannot change;courage to change the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference.
- Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) (there is more to the Serenity Prayer, but the first stanza it what is most widely remembered and what is relevant here).
The tendency of genetic investigation is to focus on what is hereditary, to identify who has hereditary traits and to what extent, and to determine the exact reasons why that is the case right down to the molecular level. But, really, from the point of view of an educator, and anyone making education policy, it is really more helpful to be mindful of the trait that have a low hereditary component, because those are the traits with respect to which an educator can make a difference to the greatest extent.
And, what are those traits?
By and large, they are traits that have to do, not with individual level psychology, like intelligence and personality, but with group level social matters, like language, one's religion (as opposed to one's religiosity), how people react to authority and interact in groups (like the capacity of groups of people to self-organize), and matters like how much people are comfortable with (or need) physical touching in non-sexual relationships.
Put more succinctly, the educational process has much more of a capacity to influence how people are socialized than it does to change, for example, their IQ.
By focusing on the possible, instead of expecting the impossible or extremely difficult to achieve accomplishments, from the educational system, we might be able to produce results that are more fruitful.