Northwestern Study Revealing
A recent study reveals that fostering non-cognitive skills does more to influence students’ future outcomes than does helping them raise their test scores. Looking at the data for 570,000 students in North Carolina, C. Kirabo Jackson, an economics professor at Northwestern University, found that ninth-grade teachers who improved their students’ non-cognitive skills—which include motivation, the ability to adapt to new situations and self-regulation—had important impacts on those students. They were more likely to have higher attendance and grades and to graduate than their peers. They were also less likely to be suspended and to be held back a grade. These benefits persisted throughout high school.