Re: [xmca] birth order and academic achievement

From: Naeem Hashmi <nhashmi who-is-at>
Date: Wed Feb 06 2008 - 08:42:38 PST

The birth order and academic achievement depends in context of where one
resides in the world.

General observations - following factors highly depend on birth-order
academic achievement

Gender - In large number of countries, culturally, Females are less
encouraged in academics over Males regardless of birth order.

Economic Condition - Poor economic conditions leads to older siblings end up
learning rudimentary skills to support rest of the sibling's education -
hence inverse correlation

First generation of landed Immigrants (mostly in US) - emphasize academic
achievements equally for their kids regardless of birth order

Parent's - drive to 'force/push' children to achieve academic excellence

Religion - major factor in who gets educated --- Like in the past, in Peru,
first born child is to given to church, 2nd to support family ... etc.. same
in Saudi, regardless of birth order, females are not well educated (a tribal
tradition - nothing to do with Islam).

Would be interested to know if someone has done research on the subject
across these lines...


Naeem Hashmi
Chief Research Officer
Information Frameworks
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Kellogg" <>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 10:26 PM
Subject: Re: [xmca] birth order and academic achievement
  When my mother wrote a book about population a few years ago, she thought 
that academic achievement was ALWAYS in inverse correlation to birth order 
(and thus to family size) because of limited resources for education. She 
used this as a way of explaining the demographic shift to lower birth rates 
but longer lives in industrialized countries (and also unindustrialized 
countries that encourage or allow female education). Her argument was that 
where children represent intellectual capital rather than just able bodies, 
people have fewer in order to concentrate their educational resources.
  Stein, D. (1995) People Who Count. London: Earthscan.
  But you probably know that in many places in Asia, birth order is NOT 
inversely correlated with academic achievement in a family, apparently 
because older siblings help with homework.Surprisingly, this remains true in 
first generation Asian American familes, although in second and third 
generation immigrants the usual inverse correlation appears:
Indochinese refugee families and academic achievement . Scientific American, 
266, 36-42 . Chen, C., & Uttal, D.H. (1988).
  Evidence that Mike is right about the evolutionary overlap of phylogenesis 
and socio-cultural ontogenesis. Not only play but also work and even 
schoolwork is creates a naturally occurring zone of proximal development in 
the family. Rogoff (2006) points out that the idea of herding children into 
single age cohorts and having one teacher to rule them all is a modern one 
(and not particularly good or efficient one unless you view it from a 
Panopticist point of view).
  David Kellogg
  Seoul National University of Education
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Received on Wed Feb 6 08:46 PST 2008

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