Nonacademic Skills Matter!

Nonacademic skills are the key to success in today’s multifaceted world, but no one in Education is sure which are most important or even what to call them. These skills are not directly measured by standardized tests. Laura Bradford of the New America Foundation thought “Skills for Success” was a good umbrella term which she used as the title of her paper on the subject. Some terms that highlight these “nonacademic skills” are as follows. Grit (defined as the measure of self-control, persistence and conscientiousness) has become a buzz word. Its attributes are skills that if pulled out in students will drive them to success. The term social and emotional skills has become popular as well. Promoting these skills has helped students improve academics, school climate and discipline. They are skills that prepare students for college and careers. Growth Mindset is from Carol Dweck, a Stanford University psychologist. It is defined as the belief that positive traits, including intelligence can be developed with practice. These new vantage points on education will help us define 21st century learning. However, education systems must respond to the demand for updated skill sets and traits that students will need for success in today’s world and throughout their futures.

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