We recently received a question quoted in full below which I assumed was an assignment question. I assume that the student copy and pasted the question literally from some assignment description.
- What should we do with assignment questions?
It seems to me that we have several options:
- Close the question
- Edit the question into something useful
- Have requirements that student shows minimal effort
There are various aims:
- Develop good resources for the Internet
- Prevent students from outsourcing their homework
- Ensure the survival of this site by keeping our question and answer statistics at a good level
Reflections on homework questions:
- They are typically framed in ways that are too specific to be useful to others. In that case, I'd encourage users to edit them to make them more general.
- If a student has made independent effort, then I think we should be a lot more willing to help than if they are just copy and pasting the question from their assignment.
- If the question is inherently interesting and would be a useful resource to others, then we should be more willing to retain the question.
Does breastfeeding lead to intelligence increase?
Several studies suggest that breast-fed babies become more intelligent children than formula-fed babies. One such study (Lucas and others, 1992) involved 300 premature babies whose mothers had chosen, prior to the experiment, whether or not to breast feed their newborns. Infants in both the breast-milk and formula groups were fed by tube for 18 months.
As 8-year-olds, children fed breast milk as infants scored 8 points higher in overall IQ than did those who were fed formula. This difference was observed even after the researchers adjusted for differences in the social class and maternal education of the two groups. (This adjustment allowed the researchers to rule out any pre-existing differences in the groups that might have independently contributed to IQ differences in their children).
The authors acknowledge that other differences between the groups, such as the children’s genetic potential or their parents’ caregiving skills or motivation to nurture, could explain the results. However, they believe that human milk contains various hormones and other factors that enhance brain growth and maturation.
What explanation do the researchers offer for their findings? Does this explanation make sense based on the evidence?