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ERIC Number: EJ968857
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Academic Value of Non-Academics: The Case for Keeping Extracurriculars
Kronholz, June
Education Next, v12 n1 p8-14 Win 2012
A growing body of research says there is a link between afterschool activities and graduating from high school, going to college, and becoming a responsible citizen. Temple University psychologist Laurence Steinberg, whose book, "You and Your Adolescent: The Essential Guide for Ages 10-25," discusses afterschool activities. He suggested two more reasons for what he believes is a causal link between activities and academic success. Kids who are involved in clubs and sports spend an extra couple of hours a week with an adult, usually a role model like a drama director or a football coach. Extracurriculars also make school more palatable for a whole lot of kids who otherwise find it bleak or unsatisfying. As with a lot of social science research, the findings about extracurriculars are not always consistent or conclusive. But some researchers insist there is a cause-effect relationship between activities and academic success, not just the other way around. Margo Gardner, a research scientist at Columbia University's National Center for Children and Families (NSCF), is among them--and certainly not alone. Using data from the 1988 National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS), and controlling for poverty, race, gender, test scores, and parental involvement, Gardner has calculated that the odds of attending college were 97 percent higher for youngsters who took part in school-sponsored activities for two years than for those who didn't do any school activities.
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Education Amendments 1972; Title IX Education Amendments 1972