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Sharing class & twins' academic growth

Twins who share a classroom do just as well academically as twins placed in separate classes.

Sharing class & twins academic growth

Twins who share a classroom do just as well academically as twins placed in separate classes.

The question of whether or not twins should be taught together has long been a dilemma. It is usually recommended that twins be kept in separate classes for better development of their individual personalities. Three earlier studies have looked at the effects of separation in primary school among twins, and two studies found separated twins had a slightly higher risk of psychological problems like depression and anxiety. To better understand the benefits and drawbacks of classroom sharing among twins, the researchers looked at 839 identical and 1,164 fraternal pairs of twins from The Netherlands. They were followed from age 3 years up until age 12 years.

Seventy-two percent twins had shared a classroom, 19 percent were in parallel classes, meaning they attended the same school but were in different sections; and 9 percent had partly shared a classroom. Sixteen percent of the study participants had changed from shared to parallel classes (or vice versa) at some point during primary school.

After the researchers accounted for socioeconomic status (twins from less wealthy families were more likely to share a class) and externalising problems such as aggressive behaviour (siblings with these issues were more likely to be separated from one another), no effect of classroom sharing was found on children's scores on a standardised test typically given to Dutch children in eighth grade, at age 12 years.

The findings show that academics should not be a reason to separate twins during the primary school years. The choice of separation should rather be made by teachers, parents and their twin children, based on individual characteristics.
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