“Refers to a set of attitudes, behaviors, and strategies that are thought to underpin. Success in school and at work, such as motivation, perseverance, and self-control…”
As a parent, that definition worries me when thinking about how education reformers have made non-cognitive skills a part of what K-12 education is going to be about from now on.
The new “replacement” bill for No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is called Every Student Succeeds Act and has cemented this into law.
I wrote about this in an article about David Conley, from Oregon, here and also here. Conley has changed the word non-cognitive to “metacognitive” and here is what is tracked when looking at metacognitive details:
- personality and motivational factors;
- experiential and contextual intelligence;
- social skills and interests; and
- adjustment and student perceptions.
Another fascinating tidbit:
“..need to know much more about how students manage the learning process, and how their beliefs about themselves as learners affect their ability to understand and retain content knowledge. By elevating noncognitive information to an equal position relative to content knowledge, we may find the missing link needed to close the achievement gap more rapidly and effectively for the many students who possess the cognitive ability to improve their capacity to learn, but are limited by a lack of effective learning strategies and the appropriate mindset. As a first step down this road, educators, researchers, and policy leaders must be willing to rename “noncognitive measures” as “metacognitive learning skills.”
PBIS, which every school has thanks to Obama and his pen and phone (many schools had PBIS before this, though), makes sure that tracking attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs will go beyond the classroom to anything a child does while in a brick and mortar school and probably beyond.
Next time someone tells you that No Child Left Behind has been “replaced by a much better bill,” refer them to this article, please.