How to Help Our Children Succeed in Life (and School)
September 17, 2012 by David Grebow
We then turn to the question of what can schools can offer to kids like Kewauna, and whether non-cognitive skills are something that can be taught. Paul discusses research that suggests these kinds of skills can indeed be learned in a classroom, even with young people, like Kewauna, facing especially adverse situations, and also the success of various programs that revolve around early interventions. Ira reports on a mother and daughter in Chicago, Barbara and Aniya McDonald, who have been working with a program designed to help them improve their relationship — and ultimately to put Aniyah in a strong position to learn non-cognitive skills.
Our story picks back up with the question of how non-cognitive skills can be taught to older kids — who have gone much longer without learning things like self-control, conscientiousness and resilience. Ira returns to the story of Kewauna, the Chicago teenager, who talks about the dramatic ways in which she changed her life. They discuss an intervention by Kewauna’s family, and the programs that have helped her thrive. Economist James Heckman then discusses they ways in which this shift in emphasis could change the way we practice education and the way we think about learning.
SONG: “YOU DON’T LEARN THAT IN SCHOOL”, LOUIS ARMSTRONG
SONG: “BACK TO SCHOOL AGAIN”, MOROCCO MUZIK MAKERS