Week 10 – Disadvantages at the Starting Gate – Inequalities Between and Within Families

Hi all! This week we’re discussing the following readings:

  1. Heckman, James J. 2008. “Schools, Skills, and Synapses.” Economic Inquiry. 46 (3): 289–324.
  2. Marteleto, Leticia.J. & Dondero, Molly. 2016. “Racial Inequality in Education in Brazil: A Twins Fixed-Effects Approach” Demography 73(4): 1185–1205.

This week we are discussing how inequalities can be shaped at early childhood. We also discuss sibling differences in adult success to understand how inequalities exist not only between families, but also within the same family environment.

Before going over my PowerPoint presentation, watch the videos below:

Watch the very short video below where Nobel Prize Laureate, James Heckman, and author of the required reading for this week, explains how investing in the early years of disadvantaged children’s lives is both fair and efficient.

The second paper we’re discussing this week, looks at differences in educational attainment for twin siblings where one is labelled as black and the other white in Brazil. How can twin siblings (non-identical) be labelled differently by race? Race is a socially constructed category, as such different societies will use different classifications schemes. In order to illustrate this and to understand a bit about racial inequality in Brazil, watch the videos below before moving on to the slide presentation.

Now, you can go to my PowerPoint presentation with voiceover where I explain important ideas and concepts covered in the readings. (To listen to the voiceover you need to go to presentation mode)

Finally, watch the Ted Talk below where Dalton Conley explores what we need to succeed and what assembly is required in order to do well in school or the workplace. He discusses his research that focuses on the factors that allow some people to succeed while others, perhaps even in the same family, fail.

Lecture Posts Questions:

On the comments section below, address the following questions (answers should be at least 100 words in length and posted by Sunday – This is how participation points are assessed (worth 30% of your final grade!) Please save your comments in a safe document before attempting to post it.

  1. From the PowerPoint presentation is everything clear?
  2. From the Heckman reading are all concepts clear? Do you have any questions?
  3. From the Marteleto and Dondero (2016) reading are all concepts clear? Do you have any questions?
  4. Summarize the main takeaways from the videos. Do you have any questions?
  5. So, what is your opinion? How much does nature or nurture matter in shaping life chances and outcomes? Do you think parents invest equally in their children (and should they)? What can we learn from analyzing differences in siblings? Methodologically why do we care about sibling comparisons?

18 thoughts on “Week 10 – Disadvantages at the Starting Gate – Inequalities Between and Within Families

  1. Mir Mohammod

    1. The powerpoint presentation provided me a better understanding of the main takeaways from the videos we watched beforehand. The idea of race and inequalities were obscured through proposed policies that were not effective. The policies should incorporate more factors to recognize the diversity in societies. With the attention drawn more towards multiculturalism, studies were able to find the issues in previous research. In attempts to study multiculturalism, the studies examined racial disparities in education within families. The results showed that there is a racial gap in education that is prevalent within adolescent years.
    2. “Schools, Skills, and Synapses” by James J. Heckman discussed the roles of cognitive and noncognitive ability towards shaping adult outcomes. The reading also talked about the growing inequalities within America and how it would affect society. With growing inequality, production slows down and skill learning abilities also slow down. The powerpoint presentation and the videos made the concepts from this reading clear to understand.
    3. “Racial Inequality in Education in Brazil: A Twins Fixed-Effects Approach” by Leticia Marteleto and Molly Dondero discussed the inequality and racial disparity with education in Brazil(with accounts of other places with common issues as well). The second and third video provided, with the powerpoint presentation, made the concepts of this reading more comprehensible. The reading starts by studying the inequality, not only found in society but, within each individual family. With this data they would assess if there are racial disparities found within families towards education.
    4. The Tedx video by Dalton Conley discusses the debate on Nature V.S. Nurture. Conley starts off by saying was it nature or or nurture that put him before us to describe the differences. The first idea that Conley brought up was that social environments affect individuals in terms of social and economic gains(going to college/getting a job/etc.). In the video, Conley also said that there is still a lot of missing data in research and studies and that the missing data is called the case of the missing heritability which also sent geneticists to a “soul-searching mission”. The missing data might be showing that heritability traits are not giving the right answers because the goal post may be false, which might show why we don’t find the answers in our genome. The assumptions within studies and research can also give false answers in our data. Conley thinks the answer to this issue is the natural experiment alternative because with this they can now sequence genomes for new discoveries. However, we would still have to look for the missing heritability because we don’t know where genetic effects are lying in our genomes. Lastly, Conley believes with more research being done, the debate on nature V.S. nurture will only continue to expand.
    5. In my opinion, I think both nature and nurture matter in terms of determining individual behavior. I believe both nature and nurture matter in shaping life chances and outcomes. For the most part, it seems parents invest equally in their children(this may not always be the case in some households) and they should continue to do so. Parental influence is a major influence on child development. We can learn a lot from analyzing differences in siblings. These studies can show us the sequence in genomes which can show us new discoveries we have yet to find. Methodologically, we care about sibling comparisons because it can help to identify what data may be incorrect and about the genetic effects lying in our genome.

  2. Anthonio Roye

    1. From the PowerPoint presentation is everything clear?

    The PowerPoint highlights the important details in the two papers namely the: Heckman and Marteleto and Dondero papers. In the Heckman paper it explains how support (early remediation and better parental involvement) affect children throughout school and in turn life. The graph explains this well when the rate of investment in human capital is dependent on the age that a child gets support. We see that children between 0-3 years have the highest returns; making this age range the most important range that a child/ the pregnant mothers needs support (adequate nutrients, safe environment etc.) to better the quality of life for the future to come.
    As it regards the Marteleto and Dondero paper, it highlights that multiracial people does not prevent racial inequalities seen in Brazil and that even twins can be labeled as different races, based on their skin color, nose shapes, hair types etc., which makes them generally white or black. There is more agreement in twin race labeling in richer families and families with greater parental involvement, that is, they are labeled as the same race; as opposed to lower income families. The non-whites are generally disadvantaged (less schooling) which creates an educational gap. This was not significant in adolescent girls labeled as black or white but adolescent boys had a large significant negative association that proves that they are the most disadvantaged, when they are labeled as black. Finally, it concludes by stating that Society, family and the individual themselves are all related and important players in social status and work.

    2. From the Heckman reading are all concepts clear? Do you have any questions?

    The readings highlight how different early interventions (eg. remediation in the adolescent years, early childhood programs etc.) are useful to prevent the inequalities (educational variations between individuals in different families etc.) disadvantaged children face compared to advantageous ones. It also discussed that having cognitive skills are just as important as non-cognitive skills as the former only, is not enough to counteract the adverse trends these children and their families face; and the overall importance of families in molding and making these children more successful in the future. Generally, the readings showed that lower income families and nonwhite children were at an educational disadvantage which will make them more prone to living in poverty, not completing tertiary education, not very eligible for job opportunities and thus this disadvantage will persist for generations to come.

    3. From the Marteleto and Dondero (2016) reading are all concepts clear? Do you have any questions?

    This reading highlights racial inequalities, family characteristics and environment and their impacts on educational variations between different individuals, different genders and in different families in Brazil.
    Even twins can be classified as different races (black or white) and so a within-family twin approach was used to follow up adolescent twins labeled as different races and reasons determined why they were labeled as such (skin color, nose shapes, hair types etc.). The study proves that there were educational disadvantages in mostly non-whites as they would get less schooling and in turn will be considered less eligible for jobs etc. when compared to whites. The most affected group was the non-white adoloscent boys whom had a had a large significant negative association.

    4. Summarize the main takeaways from the videos. Do you have any questions?

    The Heckman video highlighted the economy of inequality and stated that early life is extremely important in determining the outcome of children. They once believed that skills are genetically determined, including things like the IQ, and so a study was done in children born in famine against those that were not; a treatment group got preschool support and the control group got no preschool support. This study proved that there were substantial benefits in the preschool support groups and that IQ was not the only thing to look at, but things like social skills and governmental policies are all important in helping the poor, to minimize children being disadvantaged.

    The ‘Why race is confusing in Brazil’ video spoke on the fact that individuals even in the same family are treated differently based on if they are considered white or black. The blacks were constantly discriminated against (even mocked by other family members of lighter skins), were less eligible for jobs even when they have better qualifications than the whites, believed that whites had it easier and could move through society faster. However, in the end the blacks thought they were beautiful and would not want to change their skin colors.

    The ‘Anti-blackness in Brazil’s Media’ video highlighted that majority of the country is of African origins, Brazil was the last country to abolish slavery but all faces shown to the world to represent Brazil like in the media, in entertainment (like telanovellas) that had international reach were all whites. In movies, even black characters in books are played by white actors portraying the stereotypes that mostly whites are successful and desired. As it relates to the blacks, the media covers only criminal activities of authorities killing them as criminals, blacks being drug dealers etc., which further proves the stereotype that inequalities do exist. An example was given with a beauty show that was won by a black contestant and was bullied and mocked all over the country as being a ‘blackie, monkey’, which led the show to replace her with another black person, but one who had lighter skins and hair more similar to that of the whites. Finally it spoke of a movement in Brazil to whiten the population, when they brought in many white immigrants in hopes that blacks will become extinct in 200 years to come. However, though the blacks suffer, they still remain in high numbers and are fighting for equality daily.

    In the Ted Talk with Dalton Conley, spoke on how confused he was that he got to go through university and be successful, while his black friend was shot and paralyzed from neck down. He spoke on a twin experiment where identical twins are expected to experience the world more similarly and fraternal twins do not experience it so similarly. When they sequence the human genome, they found that up to 18% of same sex fraternal twins were monozygotic, and that BMI, height, GPA etc. were similar in both identical and fraternal twins; so an heritability not yet noted to be the cause for the disparities one faces. He highlights the debate of nature (environment) vs nurture (children are blank slates and how we care for them determines their outcomes) in determining how well one would succeed in school or work.

    5. So, what is your opinion? How much does nature or nurture matter in shaping life chances and outcomes? Do you think parents invest equally in their children (and should they)? What can we learn from analyzing differences in siblings? Methodologically why do we care about sibling comparisons?

    I believe in equality and we should all be treated fairly, and that our skin tones, nose sizes, hair types etc. should not matter in how we treat each other, afterall, we are all humans. Nature and nurture do matter in shaping life chances and outcomes because many studies show that children who get even preschool support are more successful in life and so how we raise our children and the environment they are in, does play a role in their outcomes.
    I believe parents do not invest equally in their children, but they should. With the entire racial disparities in many countries, even parents themselves may grow up to believe that their children with lighter skins are better and should be treated better than another darker skin child. They would invest more in these children, send them to school for higher education etc., as they themselves believe that they will be a better representation of the family and more accepted by the world. We can learn many things by analyzing differences in siblings, like their own individual talents, skills, interests and dislikes to know how to treat them and what to invest in for them to fulfil their talents and passions. We care about sibling comparison because we can see that in previous studies where children are labeled as white or black, the black children are disadvantaged (less prefered, discriminated against, lower chance of getting jobs) and there will be an established educational gap which directly affects their outcomes as adults in the world. They will be more likely to not complete school and more prone to have a life of crime and poverty.

  3. Justin Qu

    In this week’s PowerPoint, the ideas and concepts presented were clear. We learned that the more investments put into the early life of an individual the more human capital it produces. Also, in the PowerPoint, I want to point out the racial disparity among twins in Brazil. This is interesting because twins physically look alike yet, their skin tones decide their “race.” In Brazil, they tend to look at skin tones. If you are darker you are disadvantaged. This happens even within a family. High fluidity in racial labeling makes it so that siblings are labeled as different races from miscegenation in Brazil.

    In the Heckman reading the core concepts were clear. They try to figure out when in an individual’s life is the best time to invest in. They conclude that investments in human in early life it promises more social-economic growth. It also explains that major economic and social problems can lead to low abilities and skills in society. This can include poverty, crime, and health issues. I found it interesting that they conclude America’s social problem of skill. Skills and abilities are dropping and are increasing inequality in the U.S.

    In Marteleto and Dondero’s reading, the concepts given are pretty interesting. For the most part, the ideas were clear and understandable. They aimed to research adolescent twins in Brazil. Their results were surprising because one can be in the same family but identified as a different race. Since Brazil has prominent levels of miscegenation, racial labeling is also prevalent, and it causes families to have different races. They concluded that colored/nonwhite twins have a disadvantage in years of schooling compared to the white twin. The result expresses social problems such as education, schooling, racism, and even family. The colored is disadvantaged in Brazilian society.

    In the first video, James Hackman explains his findings in human capital in the early life of children. He discusses that researchers use individuals from the very beginning to understand how investments can lead to better outcomes later in life. Heckman concludes that even families who grow up from poverty and famine, with high human capital investments, children prove to be efficient in the future. In the second and third video explains the social norm on race in Brazil. It is interesting because the nonwhite population faces unfair social aspects like schooling and jobs. Yet, the “black’ population is the majority while “whites” are the minority. In families, the siblings are categorized as different races. This is because of mixing and parents being different skin colors. However, regardless of their skin color, they are proud to be whatever society categorizes them to be. In the third video, it illustrates the inequalities and racial problem in Brazilian TV and media. In most if not all Brazilian media is portrayed as a white person. It reveals the white power that still burdens Brazil. TV is a way to brainwash individuals and a way to promote propaganda. As a colored child, seeing these inequalities will be a norm and they will see themselves as not “good enough.”

    In the third video, Dalton Conely tries to explain the different mechanisms that are needed for a child to do well in school and work. He gives the example that height and intelligence are not from genetics. So, he concludes that that can be why the case of missing heredity is still unsolved. He explains a particularly crucial factor where in old studies they thought twins were to experience the same environments as their counterparts. However, this is not the case and researchers know that as well. He concludes that genetics do play in the role of mental stresses and other aspects from the twin surveys.

    In my opinion, I feel like nature and nurture play an equal role in shaping life chances and outcomes for the individual. This is because in the case of nature you can have traits that deal with behavior in your genes. It will show and very much decide your life chances. However, aspects that are not in your control like social aspects that harm your chances in life also affect the individual’s outcomes. This comes with nurture because in Brazil the colored people are disadvantaged in schooling and in workplaces. As parents, they should fairly treat their child because the parents should want them to succeed and live a better life than them. Parents teach the offspring and raise them to be who they are later in life. Without parents, there is no guidance and that can lead to deviant actions by the offspring. We can learn that in some societies siblings can be looked at differently in terms of race. We care about sibling comparisons because we get to learn the differences in relationships. Then we see how it affects them socially.

  4. Samantha

    Yes, everything is clear from the presentation. It wrapped up the readings and data better, like with the Heckman article and its graphs.

    ​​I didn’t have any problems with the text. It was a little confusing because there was so much data, like the equation on 312. The graphs helped though, along with the power point. One thing I was surprised about while reading the text was that the pattern of HS dropouts is due to males rather than females.

    ​I thought it was interesting and smart to use twins. It did make more sense when the researchers explained it. It wasn’t shocking to see that the twin who was labelled ‘nonwhite’ was disadvantaged as the researchers point out that there are racial disparities in social and economic opportunities. I am surprised that the disadvantage is -0.308. I assumed it would have been higher having seen the videos of anti-blackness in Brazil.

    The three videos try to hit on two different points: that it is important to invest in the education of a person early on and that in Brazil and probably other countries, there are big differences in how people will be treated according to their skin color. I think it was interesting to see just how different people in one family can look and how they feel about their life. The Anti-Blackness in Brazil’s Media video was helpful in getting one of the perspectives of how black people are being excluded and discriminated against. The TED talk video I was confused by. I rewatched it but I don’t understand the importance of the twins thinking they were identical, but were actually fraternal.

    I think nurture matters more in creating opportunities for children and their life outcomes because of the data presented by Heckman. In the beginning, it was thought that IQ and skills were things a person is genetically determined to have, but we’ve seen that it’s more a person’s childhood development that impacts their life later on. I do think nature also matters, but I think if a child is nurtured, I assume they’ll have more support and the foundational skills to do well in life (not that people who aren’t nurtured don’t do well, but I think they’d have a harder time). I’m not sure if this falls into this category, but when I was in high school, I was a part of the peer tutoring program. Therefore, I got to see a lot of the advancements that students made in their grades over the years. Of course, I can’t be sure if their opportunities were a result of the tutoring, but most of the kids ultimately did better on exams or at least learned how to study so they could do better. At my school, we also had a lot of events to prep students for college, college applications, SATs etc. so these courses were helpful in students knowing what to do once they graduated. I think parents intend to invest equally in their children, but forget to or don’t have the resources to. In my own experience as the youngest of two, I think we were given the same resources, but treated differently which impacted how we grew up. They should invest equally, but I think it’s hard to. Parenting itself is already hard, just as teaching is, so there are a number of considerations that have to be made. From analyzing differences in siblings, we can look at the parents impact in their difference, their genes, their relationship to the family, etc. Methodologically, we care about these comparisons because it helps us answer the nature vs. nurture question posed and the impact that parents have if they spent more or less time with one child than the other.

  5. Joanel Sassone (He/Him/His)

    1. The Powerpoint was clear and straightforward. I see a connection between this week’s readings and “Fifty Years since the Coleman Report: Rethinking the Relationship between Schools and Inequality” by Downey and Condron and also “What Matters for Achievement: Updating Coleman on the Influence of Families and Schools” by Hanushek. Last week, the text discussed how inequalities among students in schools already exist before children enter kindergarten. Heckman supported that idea by suggesting that intervention be taken between the ages of 0 and 3 to address inequalities. I think in NYC we are seeing a reflection of these findings with programs like 3-K. Marteleto and Dondero added that inequalities may stem from the same household especially in multiracial families and societies.

    2. The main takeaway from the Heckman reading is that to address inequality it’s most effective to intervene at early ages preferably between the ages of 0-3. Remediation programs in later ages can make up for the damage however they aren’t as effective, tend to be more expensive and aren’t as convenient for the individuals.

    3. As a twin and multiracial person myself I was intrigued by Marteleto and Dondero’s reading. I think that in many Latin American countries there is a myth of “racial paradise” because many people tend to identify by nationality and not race. However, racism still persists and this is evident in the ways people of African descent get treated by their families, in schools, in hospitals, by the media and the police. I thought using twins was suitable for the study because as stated in the reading, this would account for unobserved factors in their lives. Marteleto and Dondero found that usually the lighter or “White” twin will have an advantage over the darker skinned twin. To me this is striking yet not surprising at the same time. I would like to see this study be copied in countries like Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and South Africa where there are substantial populations of mixed race people. I’m also interested in the long term results and would be curious to know how life has turned out for twins that are labeled differently.

    4. Race in Brazil functions similarly to where my family is from, the Dominican Republic. Although many individuals are of mixed race they might identify as something specific and be racialized by others as a different racial group. This is a complex because individuals in the same family may have different identities even if they share the same parents. The way people identify might also not align with how others label them. Race is usually defined by phenotype which includes skin color, hair texture and color and nose shape. White and European traits are associated with standard ideas of beauty, intelligence, wealth and good behavior. As in other parts of Latin America, Afro-Brazilians are under-represented in the media and misrepresented as criminals, violent and dangerous. Unfortunately, these practices reproduce and enforce stereotypes. In the Ted Talk, Dalton Conley is discussing the relation between environment and genome. The “Twin Correlation in Body Mass Index by perceived and actual Zygosity” graph was confusing. My guess is that Conley is trying to state that weight in twins who are more genetically alike (Identical or Monozygotic) is more genetic and less influenced by their environment. However, I’m not entirely sure of this.

    5. I believe nature and nurture both matter in shaping life chances and outcomes. In the Heckman reading, there is a diagram comparing the head sizes of children who grew up in “normal” circumstances and others who were “neglected”. I believe this is first caused by nurture because a baby who is properly nourished will most likely develop a normal head shape and size for their age. However, on the other hand a baby who is neglected will not have a smaller head not because of genetics but because they don’t have access to proper nutrition. Therefore, their environment will affect their physical development or what is perceived to be genetic. By using this example, I don’t mean to argue that nurture is always a cause of nature because they can most likely change roles. For example, if a disease is hereditary in a family it might not affect everyone if the individual has a different lifestyle and habits than those who do become ill to the disease. As much as parents try I don’t think they invest properly in their children mainly because each child is different and has different necessities. It’s also difficult to quantify or define what investing in a child is or looks like because again each child is different. As discussed earlier in the semester, parenting is one of those cases where an individual isn’t going to admit to poor parenting habits especially if they know they are being surveyed for a study and/or being recorded/observed. By analyzing differences in siblings, especially twins, we are able to identify how family and society shapes an individual and their experiences, characteristics, etc. Since siblings grow up in the same household most of the time, it is thought that they begin from the same starting point and have access to the same resources however at some point they might diverge from each other and wind up in different positions in life.

  6. Kimberly Figuereo (She/her)

    I found the PowerPoint presentation to be pretty clear, especially the breakdown of the Heckman graphs and the Marteleto and Dondero study. It was interesting to learn that the more investments we put into our early lives, the more human capital they’ll produce. It wasn’t surprising to learn that in Brazil, someone’s skin tone decides their race. Skin tones matter a lot to the people of Brazil, which is something I’ve found to be present in a lot of other countries as well, especially Hispanic and Latin American counties.

    I found the Heckman reading to be pretty clear, despite the great amount of statistical data provided. Heckman’s goal was to discuss the role of cognitive and noncognitive abilities in shaping adult outcomes and essentially the differences between advantaged families and those who are less advantaged. Heckman’s study eventually concludes that investing in human life during the early stages promotes more social-economic growth.

    The Marteleto and Dondero reading on racial inequality in education in Brazil was an interesting read. Marteleto and Dondero conducted a study aiming to examine if racial disparities exist among adolescent twins in Brazil. To my surprise, apparently the disparities do exist as it was found that individuals can be in the same family and still be considered a different race. Apparently, it’s common for families in Brazil to have different races due to miscegenation and racial labeling. The study concluded that colored twins have many disadvantages throughout their years of schooling, in comparison to the non-colored twin.

    In the video, Heckman speaks on his research and findings in human capital and the early development of children. He explains that it’s important to invest in education from an early age. The second and third videos further explain the inequalities and racial disparities that go on in Brazil. People of darker skin face discrimination when it comes to work and school based on their darker skin. The video touches more on the fact that siblings can be categorized in different race groups based on their skin tones as well. The media’s anti-blackness also presents a huge problem in Brazil as it appears to almost brainwash individuals into genuinely believing that being white is superior to being colored. In the Ted video with Dalton Conley, he touched furthermore on racial inequalities and disparities and on studies conducted on fraternal and identical twins. According to him, identical twins are more likely and expected to experience life very similarly, whereas fraternal twins don’t have the same experiences. Conley also touches on the ideas of nature and nurture and how they play huge roles in shaping the life outcomes for individuals.

  7. Sophia Youssef (Her)

    1. From the PowerPoint presentation is everything clear?
    From the PowerPoint presentation, everything is clear, it elaborates more on the extensive readings by Heckman and Marteleto, and Dondero. Heckman was explaining the struggles and inequalities between advantaged families and disadvantaged families, as well as many other factors. Martellato and Dondero did a study on Brazilian twins and racial inequalities and gender inequalities as well, the results shocked me but I’ll explain why in question 3. Overall, the PowerPoint presentation was clear but I’ll explain what I thought about the results in the next questions.

    2. From the Heckman reading are all concepts clear? Do you have any questions?
    When I was reading the Heckman paper the overall concepts were clear but the results shocked me. For example, how American-born children graduate at lower rates than 40 years ago and yet that American children (I think immigrants as well who came to America) are graduating from college more than ever. The arguments pointed out in the article were a lot but thorough, they were also trying to narrow down the best time for human investment which would be in their early life because it results in positive social and economic growth. If we invest more in our children’s environments they would end up becoming more successful as they blossom into adults and working professionals. Families who are disadvantaged end up having poor skills in society as well as low abilities in the social-economic world. These problems lead to a lot of problems that we face today in society such as increased crime rates, poverty levels, and more health conditions. I did though find this article a little hard to keep up with because it had several graphs and sometimes it confuses me, but I’m also really bad at reading graphs.

    3. From the Marteleto and Dondero (2016) reading are all concepts clear? Do you have any questions?
    The Marteleto and Dondero reading concepts were also clear but it was also very intriguing because of the study they did on twins and they took race and gender into effect. They discovered that the Brazilian twins are that although the country is high in levels of miscegenation and fluidity in race labeling, it suggests that multiracial identities haven’t eliminated racial inequalities. As a result of this study, these twins were labeled differently if they looked or were perceived differently which is unfortunate because you have to see your own twin deal with discrimination in something there was no control for. As a result, they found twins that were labeled as nonwhite have a -0.308 disadvantage in their years of schooling as well as their own twin that is labeled as white. These results expose the unobserved factors shared by these twins are controlled for, still, an education gap remains between these twins based on their color. For different gender twins, they concluded that twin girls with multicultural families who were labeled as nonwhite had no significant change in their years of education, but with twin boys, there was a large and significant negative association. This information is suggesting that nonwhite boys are the most disadvantaged group educationally speaking and I agree.

    4. Summarize the main takeaways from the videos. Do you have any questions?
    The main takeaways from the videos watched were that the lighter the skin tone you are the better opportunities you’ll have in life, that social media, entertainment, news, etc. is all broadcasted by white-looking or lighter skin-toned Brazilians. They say that the darker you are the more you’ll struggle and suffer in life. But that didn’t stop the black community in Brazil to change their outlook on themselves. It’s crazy how our society is still caught up with inequality and race, people who have distinct features about themselves that aren’t the standard to what society wants to portray to the world is absolutely shocking. That the whiter Brazilians are viewed as wealthy, beautiful, healthy, intelligent, etc. while black Brazilians are viewed as criminals, drug lords, etc. It is so unfortunate that our society is still stuck on race and stereotyping, that there is only one kind of look that is considered beautiful yet everything else will have some negative feedback to it.

    5. So, what is your opinion? How much does nature or nurture matter in shaping life chances and outcomes? Do you think parents invest equally in their children (and should they)? What can we learn from analyzing differences in siblings? Methodologically why do we care about sibling comparisons?
    Ironically in one of my psychology classes called infant and adolescent psychology discussed the very same question. Personally, for me, I think both nature and nurture are very important for the child as long as it’s balanced. If it leans towards something more than other, things then it begins to get complicated. There needs to be a balance of nature and nurture to provide the best outcome for your child because with nurture if you coddle your child too much they will end up becoming too dependent on you or their future partner and don’t know how to become self-sufficient. While if there was too much nature they will end up feeling alone, not being able to connect emotionally to another person such as their partner. This causes strains on both sides, that’s why I recommend a good amount of nature and nurture to ensure the child gets the best of both worlds. I do think parents do equally invest in their children at first, but as they age and become young adults and start to make their own decisions if they start to disrespect their parents, get into trouble or do bad things they will slowly invest in the other child. And in my case that has happened with my older sister and me, her strengths are my weaknesses, and my strengths are her weaknesses but it gets to the point where your child doesn’t want help. It loses hope for the child and they ask themselves “where did I go wrong?” My sister and I have completely different personalities as well as interests, lifestyles, etc. my sister will always say that I’m the favorite but at the same time she doesn’t see where she was in the wrong. The reason I am now the “favorite” is that I am the child who tries to build and work on my differences and relationship with my parents, while she doesn’t want to try. I don’t like sibling comparisons because it actually puts a lot of strain on the child that the parents look to when their other child gives up. That you as their “favorite” have to clean up the mistakes and constantly try to prove to them that you are not like them and possibly better than them. So your brain constantly goes on overdrive and you begin to stress over the little in the fear of disappointing your parents as your sibling did.

  8. Azizah Al-Antri

    Everything in the powerpoint is clear and you actually delved deep into the articles and broke it down in a way to highlight the important points and made it more understandable and clearer.

    Heckman’s concepts are clear. He discusses how the U.S. has a growing skills problem because of rising inequality. It’s alarming that although there are many people graduating from college over the years, the high school dropout rate is rising. A consequence of this skills problem is the growth of productivity in the workplace slowing down. Just like Coleman, Heckman believes that the family plays a huge part for a child which can shape adult life outcomes. Children with wealthy, educated parents have more of an advantage than those with single parents or parents that are high school dropouts. Heckman believes in investing and improving cognitive and noncognitive skills for children from a young age through early interventions which can help the disadvantaged children and their development and shape their adult life outcomes. Investing in a child at the ages of 0-3 years will bring the highest returns.

    Marteleto and Dondero’s study is on racial disparities in education in Brazil. This study focuses on a sample of adolescent twins. These twins have different racial features and characteristics that consider them racially different. Those who are labeled non-white are considered educationally disadvantaged despite being in the same family and raised by the same parents. The findings show that non-white males are considered the most disadvantaged group when it comes to education. It is surprising to see how there is still racial inequality in education even within families and reinforced by parents themselves. Some parents may treat their children differently based on their racial features such as skin color, and may favor and invest in their white children more than their darker skinned children, which can produce different educational outcomes. It’s well known that there is racial inequality in education but I never thought of it happening between twins. Since using just twins is a limitation in the study, I wonder if it was between regular siblings and their differences not only with race, but also with gender, birth order and age, etc. and what the outcomes would be.

    In the first video, Heckman talks about how back then skills were determined based on genetics such as IQ. However, now it is believed that the early life of a child plays a critical role. He states that investing in children in their earliest years will improve and shape their life outcomes and skills which in turn can increase returns of human capital. He believes that governmental policy and pre-distributing money can make a difference to provide opportunities over the whole life cycle. The second and third video discusses the prevalence of racial discrimination and anti-blackness in Brazil. Within families, people can be considered different races and there is racial fluidity in labeling. People who are white have more privileges in society and the media has more white people, hiding the black population and historical African roots of the country despite that they are more populated. Black Brazilians are very socially and economically disadvantaged and even light colored black individuals have some privilege than darker skinned individuals. Dalton Conley in the Ted Talk video discusses his study on identical twins who mistakenly thought they were fraternal twins. His research highlights the nature vs nurture debate and how genes and the environment interact to produce human life outcomes.

    In my opinion, I believe that both nature and nurture matter in shaping life outcomes. For nature, a mother taking care of herself while the baby is in the womb and making sure her and the baby are healthy is just as important as taking care of the child after birth. This is because anything that happens in the womb can affect the child in the future. However, I think that nurture is also critical in shaping life outcomes. The environment a child lives in, their family, parenting quality, investment in their education, the neighborhood they live in, etc. all factor in and play a role in the child to develop well which can influence them as an adult and their life outcomes and success. It’s important to invest in the child in their earliest years because that’s the most critical time for development. Heckman believes that investing in them while they’re young will provide returns in human capital, and I agree as well. Some parents invest in their children differently and are usually unequal which is wrong. If one child has a talent that was discovered, the parents will invest in that child more and provide them more resources to be more successful in that aspect. The other children are neglected in a way and creates inequality in education and life outcomes. All children should be invested in equally so that they all have equal doors of opportunities, or else one will fall behind the other. When a parent invests more in one child than the other, this will create differences in siblings and self-fulfilling prophecies in the child which will make it more likely for them to fall behind and not strive in doing what they want to become successful.

  9. Katelyn Asciutto (she/her)

    1. The PowerPoint was helpful in summing up the two articles and going over the findings of each. It was clear and helped me make connections between the articles.
    I found myself wondering how Heckman would respond to Marteleto and Dondero’s findings and what solutions he would propose. Would he suggest that early intervention only be provided to nonwhite twins? (For example, having a teacher come to the house and only tend to the nonwhite child while the white child has to stay in another room.) Although the nonwhite children are at the disadvantage, would this clear difference in attention and resources negatively affect the white twin mentally and educationally? But at the same time, I suppose the reverse is currently happening, with white twins often receiving more support than their nonwhite counterparts. What would Heckman suggest be done to support nonwhite twins without having a negative effect on the white twin? It’s important to remember that while the society is clearly treating these children differently, they are still children who are receptive and impressionable, so how can we try to level the playing field without causing harm to either of them?

    2. I thought the Heckman reading was very interesting and touched on a lot of topics regarding the American education system. Something I wanted to clarify was the reasoning behind the gap in college enrollment/attendance between men and women. I’ve heard multiple times in multiple classes that more women are getting a college education than men, however this reading was the first that tied this to higher high school drop-out rates amongst men. So, is the gap because more women are attending college than in previous years, or because men aren’t attending college as much as they once were? Or is it both?

    3. This study was also really interesting, particularly the idea that even parents will treat their children differently based on their skin color. The authors state that parents, “ might hold lower educational expectations or provide less material and emotional support for nonwhite children compared with white children” (7). When I read this I started to wonder why. One reason could be that the parent(s) love their lighter-skinned child more than their dark-skinned child, although this is harsh and painful for me to imagine. My other thought was that the parents are focused on increasing their social mobility, and they see a greater opportunity for that through their lighter-skinned child given the colorism and prejudice plaguing Brazil. Although it is wrong and disheartening, I suppose the parents could see their efforts as putting “all of their eggs in one basket” knowing that their lighter-skinned child has higher chances of education success given the circumstances. Perhaps they view treating their children fairly as potentially lessening their overall chances of climbing the social ladder. Of course these are just ideas I’ve come up with considering the information about Brazil’s social hierarchy that’s provided and what we’ve learned about social mobility. I would like to learn more about this family-based discrimination.

    4. As I watched the first video, it stuck out to me how fickle the idea of race and colorism can be. In so many countries across the world, we still have such a divide and inequality amongst races, and yet the way we define race isn’t even universal. By this, I mean that in the US, race is determined by the race of one’s parents, similar to how ethnic origin is determined. For example, I am white because both of my parents are white and I am Italian and Polish because my father’s family is from Italy and my mother’s is from Poland. However, in Brazil we see that race is not determined this way. It seems to be removed from the race of one’s parents and instead is determined solely by one’s skin tone and features. Because of this, siblings with the same parents can be assigned and/or identify as different races. I find this interesting because it’s a different way of approaching race than I’m used and it makes me wonder more about the roots of colorism and how racial “ideals” have come about and managed to persist in our world.
    *The TEDTalk reminded me a lot of the documentary Three Identical Strangers, which I believe is available on Hulu. It follows a set of identical triplets who were part of a larger study on nature v nurture. The brothers were put up for adoption through a New York adoption center (not too far out of NYC… I know someone who was adopted through the agency) and purposely separated so that they could be documented to see how similar and different they would be. Unfortunately much of the findings will be locked up until 2065, but some have come to light after the triplets’ accidental meeting at age 19.

    5. The nature v nurture debate always frustrated me. Growing up in US, the “American Dream” was constantly pushed on me and the idea that if I wanted to be successful, I had to work for it. My parents therefore raised me to be hard-working and involved in school and extracurriculars. If I end up being successful (although the definition of that is up to interpretation) then it could be assumed that nurture prevailed. However, if I end up unsuccessful, does that mean nurture was not victorious? But there is also evidence for nature being the reigning champion, as I think back on the documentary Three Identical Strangers which I mentioned earlier, as the boys had many similar characteristics despite not knowing of their identical counterparts’ existence, and the TEDTalk which noted similarities regarding BMI and grades in identical twins. Regardless of how much I learn about this topic, I can never get a clear cut answer and I don’t think there is one. Both are important and both affect a child’s life.
    In regards to parental investment, I think most parents aim to treat their children equally, however the study in Brazil shows how this is not always the case, and in my own life, I have seen differences in investments in education within families, however this tends to be because one child may be more academic/passionate about school than the sibling. I have also had friends who have siblings that are treated differently because of their gender because their culture still has a preference for males. So, while it is unfortunate, I do think it is possible that parents can treat their children differently which can greatly affect their life chances and on a larger scale, affect racial and gender-based ideologies and enforce racist and gender-based stereotypes.
    I hope these studies become more widely known so that parents can look inward at their own parenting styles, identify any possible inequalities they are imposing on their children, and change their ways so that their children have more equal life chances as well as see themselves as equally deserving and capable of achieving whatever they wish to compared to their siblings.

  10. Lei Liu

    1.This week’s PowerPoint is very clear. It can be understood from Heckman’s reading that the more investment in the early stages of mankind, the more human capital will be generated. In PowerPoint, Brazil’s inequality is mentioned, and their skin color determines status or race.
    2.All concepts from the Heckman reading are clear. Heckman believes that more resources need to be invested to enrich the lives of disadvantaged children. One consequence of the skills problem is increased social inequality. And mention the importance of cognitive and non-cognitive abilities. Ability gaps begin to show up early in life. The gaps in cognitive and non-cognitive abilities between the advantaged and disadvantaged children appear earlier. Part of the reason can be attributed to the poor early environment. The most effective way to solve inequality is to intervene between the ages of 0-3.
    3.Marteleto and Dondero’s readings raise the issue of racial inequality. In Brazil, skin color is more important than ethnic identity. In twin families, there are different races in the same family. Compared with lighter-colored twins, the educational disadvantages of colored/non-white twins still exist, and this is especially noticeable for non-white adolescent boys.
    4.In the first video, the importance of early childhood education is described. The more early investment, the greater the return on human resources. Even children who grow up in poverty and famine, but in families with human capital investment, children will be more capable in the future. In the second and third videos, inequality and racial differences in Brazil are described. Even children in the same family will be treated differently according to their skin color. People with darker skin face unfair social treatment and even face discrimination.
    5.I think nurturing is more important for creating opportunities for children and their life outcomes. Because personal abilities and IQ are not necessarily inherited, these can be obtained through training. For example, children cannot speak when they are just born. They learn language by observing and imitating the behavior of adults, and slowly exercise and begin to speak. Similarly, some parents sign up for their children to learn some specialties (skills) when they are very young. For example, piano, painting, dancing. These investments lay the foundation for children’s future artistic development. By analyzing the differences between brothers and sisters, even in the same family, there are different experiences, which promote the formation of a person’s personality. From a methodological point of view, paying attention to peer comparison can analyze or study the differences between peers and how these differences affect personal life.

  11. Stanley Lopez

    1. The powerpoint as alway was very informative and clear. To be honest it helped me get a better understanding of the readings because the information provided was very concise and organized. It was shocking how in Brazil what matters in a way are skin tones, your skin tone could determine your future because of the opportunities you are offered because of it.

    2. The Heckman reading overall was clear, it talked about many important points. Something that I agreed with was that the articles mentioned how families play a powerful role in shaping outcomes and last class discussion I talked about how in my case my family decided my outcome and thanks to them I’m here today because of their constant support. Another thing was how women are doing better than men in terms of going to college, most men decide to drop out of High School while women continue to pursue their careers and many who do graduate from High School decide to get a full time job and not continue with their education (Their situation also contributes to this). Lastly, was the comparison between college graduations and High School dropout, while more American are graduating from college, more American are also dropping out of High School. This comparison blew my mind.

    3. As the previous reading the Marteleto and Dondero reading was very interesting and informative. Some of the points that caught my attention are the following: It’s incredible sad how we associate races and skin color with certain stereotypes, for example in the United States most people associate “white skin color” to wealthy, more educated, more civilized while we associated “black skin color” as thieves/criminals, less educated, and less civilized. I feel that we shouldn’t associate these things with race or skin colors because that doesn’t determine who you are, each person is different and because some people that have similar skin color to me or are the same race act a certain way, that doesn’t mean I will as well. I truly feel that is unfair for kids who are born and have less opportunities just because of their skin color or race. This reading really explains how twins can be discriminated against because they have different skin colors, and how they are treated differently even by their parents.

    4. The videos I feel have a main goal that was shared between them and it goes back to my point about stereotypes, we associate “lighter skin color” as better and therefore, they receive better opportunities than those with “Darker skin color”. This isn’t always the case, but I will say that in the majority of cases it is. I will mention again that your “skin color” doesn’t define you, everyone is different and we should start thinking about this because people who are born “Darker” are already predisposed to inequalities. People should stick together and fight to show the world that your “skin color” is just a color and what truly matters is who you are.

    5. Nature vs Nurture has always been a controversial topic in all my psychology classes, although in most of my classes we came to the same conclusion that they are both important for a child’s development. But if I will give my opinion on this, I believe that nurture has a greater impact on shaping life chances and outcomes, some people might have incredible genes, amazing at math, great at science, etc. But, without nurture they won’t develop those genes further. Nature obviously has it’s advantages, if you are the son of Jeff Bezos, you will obviously have better opportunities. But people who aren’t this “fortunate” are still able to succeed in life because of the nurture that they were given. In my case, nurture was the key to my success and will be the key to my future success. I believe that parents should be equal with the opportunities they give to their children, no child is better than the other, therefore they deserve equal opportunities. I think the comparison between siblings is great to see nature vs nurture, because siblings have similar genetics, but may have completely different environments and this will show in a way which one contributes to better opportunities and life chances.

  12. Cha-Neice Gordon

    1. Everything was clear and precise in this week’s PowerPoint. I found this week to be very interesting with Brazil and their reactions in regards to differences physically.

    2. The reading was clear as well and I did not have any questions.

    3. From the Marteleto and Dondero (2016) readings all concepts are pretty clear and straightforward.

    4. Some main takeaways from the videos are how investments can affect the outcome of an individual life in a positive manner. Another takeaway was that in Brazil, having different physical features and skin tone caused a major racial disparity. Individuals who are not or do not look white receive unfair education and jobs. Children are even categorized differently in terms of race due to their skin complexion. Another takeaway is the inequalities and racial issues that are shown through Brazilia television and media which impacts the entire society. The televisions and media promote the idea of one complexion being better than another which will affect individuals’ mindset on how they view themselves.

    5. In my opinion, nature is just as important as nurture in the reference of shaping the life chances and outcomes of individuals. In reference to nature, individuals cannot control certain aspects within their genes such as behavior. As opposed to nurture which is more of an effect from the individual’s environment. As a parent, it is only fair to invest equally in all of your children but unfortunately it is not always the case. Children learn so much from their parents which is why it is crucial for parents to invest in their children equally. As far as the nature aspect, due to being treated differently, children can learn and exemplify behaviors of jealousy and envy. From analyzing differences in siblings, we can gather the difference in relationships and how the relationships affect them socially and personally. Not only that but we can learn that in different societies not all children are treated the same.

  13. Sharharra Pettway

    1. The powerpoint was clear. It also made the readings more clear and helped to better explain the things studied included in them.
    2. This reading was clear. The main point was to showcase the importance of an early start with education and the environment they live in children to help with their cognitive and social development. Also shared was the difference in family’s background and how it can affect the life path of children when they become adults.
    3. This reading was also clear. It mentioned how the identity of race and the color of people’s skin and features can be a disadvantage and play a part in determining their opportunities and how they are treated in Brazil.
    4. The first video discusses the change in the understanding how experiences affect inequalities and opportunities. One takeaway was the importance of early education as mentioned with the preschool experiment where one group received preschool and the other didn’t.

    The second video discussed the issue of race and identity in Brazil. Based on the racial identities shown in the video, in Brazil people associate their racial identities with the color of their skin. People in the video also talked about how the color of their skin affects their opportunities and how they are treated in the country. Within the same family everyone identifies differently and what one person identifies themself as another person might say they are otherwise.

    The third video mentions the representation of darker skinned people and anti-blackness in Brazil’s media and the denial of its African roots and culture. For the most part the people on the tv shows and on the news channels are lighter skinned and closer to white appearing and also there is a disconnection between characters played in books to those that play them in motion pictures recreations. The video mentioned that this is a problem because it mis represents the population of Brazil as well as what it teaches children that don’t look like what the media shows about their life chances and choices for opportunities.

    In the Ted Talk, Dalton Conley talked about different things and events that can be used to possibly understand and explain people’s life’s paths and life’s chances, nature and nurture. He mentioned one of childhood friends that were shot and ended up paralyzed while he did not and wondered why. Also in the video he spoke on an experiment with twins over the course of a certain amount of years with controlling things like genetics but changing situations such as areas in which they grew up and studying the how that affected their outcomes and if it had any differences or if somethings stayed the same. Another was the natural experiment alternative and looking at both types of twins and understanding that some twins have more genetic similarities. For example as mentioned some same sex twins were wrong with being fraternal twins because of small differences like birthmarks and height.

    5. In my opinion I believe in a way that both nurture and nature matter in shaping life chances and outcomes. Nurture is important because it helps mold children and their development and guides them with skills they will need for later on. It also gives them the proper tools to improve in areas they lack or need help in because practice makes perfect. On the other hand nature in terms of an environment that creates a space for encouraging and having influences on certain behaviors in people. Which can either be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the behaviors they are being exposed to. It’s also not always the case because some take a bad experience and use it as motivation to do good and the exact opposite of what they have been exposed to in their environment while others can fall into bad and mirror the behaviors they’ve seen. I think parents invest what they can in their children to the best of their ability. Parents should want their children to have a better life than they have had and do their best to provide that for them within their means but not all parents are able to do that like others can as some have more to do more with. In my opinion parent’s can equally invest in their children intentionally with the thought behind it, but the monetary values or times spent might not be equal. Sometimes when parents have more than one child one may get special treatment or treated differently from the next and sometimes don’t see it and refuse to admit it. From looking at siblings and their differences, it helps to understand that even though they may have similar genetics they should be treated as individuals and not be compared or thought to be similar just because they are siblings. I know for me with having a younger sibling going to the same school and having the same teachers after me up until highschool, there were always those annoying comparisons between us and then having to show your own identity as your own. The comparisons always came from other people that knew us both separately and not our parents. Methodically sibling comparisons could help with understanding how different and similar siblings are and how they are their own people individuals with their own life paths no matter of being raised in the same household.

  14. Luisa Fajardo Rodriguez

    1)The PowerPoint presentation, especially the breakdown of the Heckman graphs and the Marteleto and Dondero analysis, was very clear to me. The PowerPoint was helpful because the PowerPoint was summarizing the two papers and going through their conclusions.
    2)When reading the Heckman article, I was more confused about some of the words or the wording of the reading more than the points that the reading was trying to get across. The data made me get lost in what the reading tried to get out across, but I believe that I got the concepts from the reading. With the PowerPoint being added, it helps understand more the concepts and the graphs. What I mostly took away from the reading was that lower-income families and nonwhite children were found to be at an educational disadvantage, putting them at a higher risk of living in poverty, not completing tertiary education, and being less qualified for work opportunities, a disadvantage that would last for decades.
    3)This reading focuses on racial inequality, family characteristics, the environment, and their effects on educational differences between individuals, genders, and families in Brazil. This study showed that non-whites face educational disadvantages because they receive less schooling and, as a result, are less qualified for employment and other opportunities as compared to whites. Non-white adolescent boys were the most affected, with a strong significant negative relationship.
    4)The key takeaways from the videos are that having a lighter skin tone gives you more chances in life. Social media, television, and news are all broadcasted by white-looking or lighter-skinned Brazilians. Many of the issues that Brazilians of darker skin color face in their country, many Latinos of darker skin color, face the same issues in their countries. According to popular belief, the darker you are, the more you will fail and suffer in life, and no matter how hard you try, there are still going to be people and things that will prevent you from going something better for yourself and your family. It’s incredible how our culture is still so engrossed in racism and race; individuals who have distinct features that aren’t in line with what society wants to present to the world are surprising. It’s a shame that our culture is still so fixated on race and stereotyping.
    5)Nature and nurture, in my opinion, play a role in determining life outcomes. The way that parents take care of their children and raise them makes a big impact on their lives and what they will become in the future. But also the world a child grows up in, just like their family, the standard of their parenting, investment in their education, the community they live in, and other factors all play a role in how well a child develops as an adult, influencing their life outcomes and progress. It’s important to invest in a child’s early years because that’s when they’re most vulnerable to growth.

  15. Maria Victoria Ruiz Flores

    1. From the PowerPoint presentation is everything clear?
    Yes, the concept were clear and help clarify any questions from the reading. I thought it was interesting how people thought intelligence were based off genetics, which was then proved falsely but I still see that to this day that people mis underestimate the knowledge of someone by their social, financial standings. It also helped to identify how these beliefs of anti-blackness is sometimes constructed, it abases off the society, family and then the individual in how they end up preserving others as well as themselves.
    2. From the Heckman reading are all concepts clear? Do you have any questions?
    From the Heckman reading all the concepts where clear although it was difficult for me to follow along with the figures. I understand that he is saying that education should distribute more support during the early stages of a childhood’s life in order for them to have an opportunity to an equal adulthood where they can integrate into society without any limitations. It would closed own the gap that already is since we have first-hand experienced the lack of resources and support public schools give to low resourced communities. Also, the perry preschool experiment, I wonder how the control group were compensated for the lack of early childhood education that they were taken out of for an experiment
    3. From the Marteleto and Dondero (2016) reading are all concepts clear? Do you have any questions?
    Concept were clear because although this is focused in brasil and how whitening, colorism and overall racism is still prevalent it relates to today’s environment in the United Sates. These twins where treated differently because of their physical feature although they were related very closely. Things like hair, skin tone and facial feature are all factors to how we are treated in racist communities, although they might try to pretend to be integrated, we see their treatments and policies that help establish these beliefs. I like how they also shed light to the effects with the family towards siblings and how this racial construction is often built closer than we think.
    4. Summarize the main takeaways from the videos. Do you have any questions?
    The video with Heckman was very informative and overall concluded that predistribution of resources at an early stage is crucial towards the equality building later in adulthood. Being able to give a child the right to an equal education at a young age will close down the gap of learning inequality and therefore leading to financial and social standings. The other video based on a family in brazil was also very informative to how colorism influences the way one is treated in society. Although they were a family each one because of the treatment they got socially and their experience identified differently, white, black, brown etc. This racial construction is held in families but also strengthen by the media, how they portray those that are darker in skin tone and how much people of color are shown on the media
    5. So, what is your opinion? How much does nature or nurture matter in shaping life chances and outcomes? Do you think parents invest equally in their children (and should they)? What can we learn from analyzing differences in siblings? Methodologically why do we care about sibling comparisons?
    Nature vs nurture is sometimes a balance of one another, its impact is very crucial to the outcome of a person’s life. Nurturing well in a loving and supportive way can definitely help create a strong (society-wise) person but the nature of the person can also help alter that individual. I don’t think parents equally invest in their children, but I do think they should invest equally in the early childhood education. Early childhood education doesn’t always mean books and math but also social aspects and physical activities where they develop norms and manners as well. Siblings can be different, for example the saying “college isn’t for everyone”, not everyone gets fulfilled with an academic education but there’s different ways to support an individual and still fuel their knowledge. Sibling comparison helps see how drastic the physical characteristics can be to the treatment of an individual that have lived and had the same quality lifestyle.

  16. Meghan Ndiaye

    1. The PowerPoint helped me understand the Martelero and Dondero reading more. I didn’t understand why twins are racially labeled different and by who. However from the PowerPoint I found out it’s usually by their mom and because they are not well educated. You explained the graphs clear from the Heckman reading which was very useful for me.

    2. The reading was very clear and informative. The study focuses how doing things early in a child’s life can contribute to their successful adulthood and prevent inequalities. Within the reading they try to figure out when is the best time intervention and how each one can positively affect the child when they become an adult. The authors came to a conclusion that cognitive skills are important as noncognitive skills and how it is very important for families to mold their children for the future.

    3. I think it’s sad and unfair that siblings are being grouped into different race categories especially when they have the same parents. Their ethical backgrounds are the same and so are the parents it’s just their skin color that’s different. The mothers with less education are not racial labeling their children the same shows how low education in the family (parents) affect the children’s education. From the study the twins labeled non white have a disadvantage of schooling.

    4. The main takeaway from the first Brazil video is how everyone in the household portrays themselves differently because of their skin color. Even though they are all from the same family they all don’t see themselves as black or white. The second video focuses on how Brazil was the last country to abolish slavery and how 54% of the population is African descent but being black still isn’t being showcase. On television you mostly see white actors and reporters and majority and the journalists are white as well. It’s taken a while for Brazil to acknowledge the dark skin color. In the ted talk Colney talks about the relationship between genome and the environment; debating between nature vs nurture.

    5. Nature and nurture are both important when it comes to shaping life chances. I think there’s some behaviors that you can only learn from being nurture and then some from naturally. Parents should invest equally into their children but I don’t think they do. Some parents will put way more effort into the child that has great potential. I think we care about sibling comparison because it gives us the opportunity to see how significantly different the children are even though they grew up together. It also gives us a glimpse of what happens when parents do not invest into both children equally.

  17. Yassine

    1. From the PowerPoint presentation is everything clear? In my opinion, everything in the powerpoint presentation was clear. I was able to extract details from Heckman and Marteleto and Dondero papers. The graphs in the presentation and how they were explained were straightforward and simple to understand.
    2. From the Heckman reading are all concepts clear? Do you have any questions? From the Heckman reading, I found most of the concepts to be clear. The significance of cognitive skills and non-cognitive skills in the youth. Heckman touches upon when its best time to teach the youth skills in order to evolve in socioeconomic status. I am curious to know why skills and abilities are decreasing over time.
    From the Marteleto and Dondero (2016) reading are all concepts clear? Do you have any questions? From Marteleto and Dondero all concepts were quite interesting. I found the research on twins in Brazil interesting due to the results having different racial factors within the same groups of families.
    Summarize the main takeaways from the videos. Do you have any questions? In the first video, Hackman explains human capital in children, and why people should invest in their children’s skills.
    So, what is your opinion? How much does nature or nurture matter in shaping life chances and outcomes? Do you think parents invest equally in their children (and should they)? What can we learn from analyzing differences in siblings? Methodologically why do we care about sibling comparisons? My opinion on how much nature or nurture matters in shaping life chances and outcomes is very strong. I believe a person can most definitely change depending on a person’s surroundings. The opportunities given to children at a young age can prepare them for real-world problems and obstacles. I personally don’t think all parents invest equally in their children not because they don’t want to but because they mostly don’t know how to. (Like my parents) My parents were all about my education but I had to find and reach out to find tutoring sessions or pay for books I needed to succeed. We can learn different factors in terms of development and cognitive skills. We care about sibling comparisons because of how we can analyze discriminatory factors regarded to education and the educational gaps that exist in the school system.

  18. Mariyam Mohammed

    From the Powerpoint Presentation, is everything clear?
    The PowerPoint presentation made the reading more clearer.
    From the Heckman reading, are all concepts clear? Do you have any questions?
    Although there were many concepts in the reading, the underlying factor the authors tried to prove the importance of early childhood years to be successful in the later years of children’s life. This should not have surprised me; however, high school dropout rates and college graduate rates are surprising. For the children to be successful, the parents’ status plays a vital role as well. If the parents are wealthy and well off, they benefit more from it while the poor children’s resources are minimized due to financial barriers. Also, Heckman’s findings are related to race as well. His study shows how non-white students are at a disadvantage compared to white and white students. To solve this long-lived inequality of race, solutions are required. However, the solutions should be of help to both non-white and white students so non of them are disadvantaged from an early age since adult life outcomes depend on early childhood.
    From the Marteleto and Dondero (2016) reading, are all concepts clear? Do you have any questions?
    The concepts in this study are more surprising than ever because I had no idea race played such a role in people’s lives in Brazil. All the concepts and ideas in this study were clear.
    Summarize the main takeaways from the videos. Do you have any questions?
    In the first video, Heckman summarizes and talks about the studies that were done to determine early intervention and how important is it in the long run for the government to do pre-distribution instead of early distribution. According to a specific study done with black children from a region, the kids who received treatment were doing much better when it came to social skills and health skills compared to the students who did not receive treatment. Heckman states the importance of governmental policies and early intervention and not policies later in life. Rather, pre-distribution that way adulthood outcomes are much more positive of any children.
    The second and third videos are related to colorism and racism in Brazil. It is staggering and saddens me to see how to this day; racism is an ongoing issue around the world. Although racism is not institutionalized in Brazil, the black people of Brazil are mistreated and degraded. They are nowhere near any successful career paths because they were never given the opportunities. In the media business or in the entertainment settings, it is always the white faces that are given the voice, which makes people who are unfamiliar with the country and their cultures believe there is only one color of people in that country. I found it surprising how people in Brazil people determined their race by the phenotype and not from their ancestors or where exactly they are from. In the video, they also talked about inequalities faced by dark people and compared to ‘white Brazilians.
    The last video talked about race and the inequalities faced by white students and their counterparts.
    So, what is your opinion? How much does nature or nurture matter in shaping life chances and outcomes? Do you think parents invest equally in their children (and should they)? What can we learn from analyzing differences?
    I believe both nature and Nurture affect one’s life, and it is not one thing or the other. There are students who are naturally smart regardless of the color of their skin. Also, ‘treating’ in early childhood be it because the parents are rich and they are able to supply the kids with more opportunities with their education. So when it comes to outcomes, it is both nature and Nurture. I don’t believe parents invest equally in their children due to life circumstances. Poor parents or the parents who work full time are unable to aid their children with more help in their education compared to the rich parents who are able to aid and provide the students with extracurricular activities and more education opportunities to expand their knowledge.

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