Our Futile Efforts to Boost Children's IQ

It increasingly appears that once we have provided children with a merely OK environment, our social contribution to their intellectual ability is pretty much over.

Brain Building.

Photographer: Rahman Roslan/Bloomberg

It’s one thing to point out that programs to improve children's cognitive functioning have had a dismal track record. We can always focus on short-term improvements, blame the long-term failures on poor execution or lack of follow-up and try, try again. It’s another to say that it's impossible to do much to permanently improve children's intellectual ability through outside interventions. But that’s increasingly where the data are pointing.

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