Study: Teaching noncognitive skills can spur better long-term student outcomes

Teachers who help students develop noncognitive skills — including self-regulation, motivation and the ability to adapt to new circumstances — can have more positive effects on student outcomes than those who just help students raise test scores, according to Edutopia, citing a recent study by C. Kirabo Jackson of Northwestern University.By focusing on these skills, 9th-grade educators who helped improve students' long-term outcomes made them more likely to attend school regularly and have higher grades, as well as less likely to be suspended or held back. An uptick in measures of students' noncognitive skills also increased their chances of gradating high school by 1.47 percentage points, compared to 0.12 percentage points for similar upticks in test scores, Edutopia notes.In addition to new research revealing the long-term benefits of noncognitive skills, students who drop out of school don't typically do it because of the academics — it's because of a personal event or situation, Edutopia writes. As a result, the publication writes, keeping students in school shouldn't just be about test scores, but also about making students feel like they belong.

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