Non-cognitive skills that shape academic performance

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This report, created in June 2012 by The University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research in partnership with the Lumina Foundation and the Raikes Foundation, is an extensive review of the literature on the skills, behaviors, mindsets and attitudes that have been proposed to influence student’s academic performance. The report is based on the now common interpretation that grades, not only reflect academic achievement, but also a broad range of behaviors and attitudes including such things as study and work habits, school attendance and time management, and problem solving skills, both social and academic.

This report provides a conceptual framework organizing the research on noncognitive factors into five general categories: (1) academic behaviors, (2) academic perseverance, (3) academic mindsets, (4) learning strategies, and (5) social skills. The research evidence behind each category is evaluated, and the implications for learning examined at three key points in an adolescent’s educational journey: the middle grades, entrance to high school, and the transition to college. Recommendations for practice, policy, and future research are provided at the end of the report.

Farrington, C.A., Roderick, M., Allensworth, E., Nagaoka, J., Keyes, T.S., Johnson, D.W., & Beechum, N.O. (2012). Teaching adolescents to become learners. The role of noncognitive factors in shaping school performance: A critical literature review. Chicago: University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research.