Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vital to education: Non-cognitive skills

Depression 4
Depression 4 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I found Back to School (by the This American Life Team) an eye-opening podcast that makes a huge amount of sense. In part it asks, how much can we expect teachers to do?

Awareness of the importance of affective factors on cognitive abilities has been long-known, but this podcast focuses on "studies that show how poverty-related stress can affect brain development, and inhibit the development of non-cognitive skills".

There is a "growing body of research that 'non-cognitive skills' — qualities like tenacity, resilience, impulse control — are being viewed as increasingly vital in education". And, one of the positive points discussed was how non-cognitive skills can be taught to older students "who have gone much longer without learning things like self-control, conscientiousness and resilience".

The implications for curriculum design, facilitation and support of students of all ages, as well as assessment practices are huge. Would be good to hear your thoughts.

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