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ERIC Number: ED558126
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec-2
Pages: 36
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 136
The Need to Address Noncognitive Skills in the Education Policy Agenda. Briefing Paper #386
Garcia, Emma
Economic Policy Institute
Multiple traits compose a broad definition of what it means to be an educated person. Indisputably, being an educated person is associated with having a certain command of a curriculum, and knowledge of theories and facts from various disciplines. This paper contends that noncognitive skills should be an explicit pillar of education policy. It contributes to the growing interest in these skills by reviewing what is known about noncognitive skills, including what they are, why they matter, and how they enter into the education process. The author then extends the discussion by providing a tentative list of skills that are both important for and can be nurtured by schools. Contrasting what is known about noncognitive skills with how policy currently treats them, the author contends that noncognitive skills deserve more attention in the education policy arena. Toward this end, she proposes some guidelines for how to design education policies that better nurture them, and describe the kinds of research needed to inform policy and practice. This paper is composed of two main sections. The first defines noncognitive skills and explores the evidence-based findings on their role in education and adulthood outcomes, and on how they are nurtured. The second section examines how education policy could help schools better nurture noncognitive skills. It includes some suggestions for researchers on how their work can provide new evidence geared toward policymakers, and a discussion of the goals of public education, education reform, and accountability.
Economic Policy Institute. 1333 H Street NW Suite 300 East Tower, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-775-8810; Fax: 202-775-0819; e-mail: Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Economic Policy Institute