Creating Opportunities for Change: Non-Cognitive Skills Instruction in the Classroom


To address the demands of accountability mandates such as data-driven, evidence based instruction and the need for 21st century skills, educators have revisited practice looking for ways to nurture student motivation, increase time on task and promote learner autonomy. Classrooms have been digitized, material made accessible and initiative implemented to create positive, school-wide environments. Yet, despite such changes, a number of educational challenges remain, including lower than expected graduation rates, an increase in mental, emotional and behavioural disorders (MEB) and less students pursuing and completing higher education. Such changes, however, fail to address the notion that students often lack the competencies to effect lasting, positive change. Current research has demonstrated that such competencies as grit, resilience and tenacity -- referred to as non-cognitive factors -- have significant and lasting impact not only on students' academic outcomes but also across multiple domains (Durlak et al., 2011; Farrington, et al., 2012). These competences have also proven to be effective preventive measures mediating risk factors for a number of MEBs including depression and suicidal behaviour (Beets et al., 2009). Moreover, non-cognitive skills are far better predictors of student success over and above IQ, student GPA and academic test scores (Dweck at al., 2014). As more and more research points to the importance of non-cognitive skills instruction, more educators are coming to understand that these competencies form the foundation from which students thrive. How, then, can educators effectively integrate non-cognitive skills instruction into classroom practice?

Author Information
Arnold Arao, Kurashiki Board of Education / University of Missouri, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2017
Stream: Primary and secondary education

This paper is part of the ACEID2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon