In the context of education, what is the difference between heredity and environment?

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clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When it comes to education, "heredity" and "environment" are terms that are most often associated with personality and learning. More commonly, this is called the "nature versus nurture" debate.

Heredity encompasses the nature side of the debate. This is the idea that humans are born with a genetic code that dictates personality. On this side of the debate, the argument is that personality comes from within. It is inherited, it is set, and it is not created by any outside factors. When it comes to education, those who support the heredity argument suggest that teachers and parents must seek to discover how each specific baby or child learns best, and work within his or her set personality to maximize strengths and overcome weaknesses.

Environment is the nurture component of the debate. This is the argument that human personality is developed by outside forces (the environment) and humans develop personality and learn through observation, consequences, punishments, and rewards.