The modern workplace and lifestyle demand that students balance cognitive, personal, and interpersonal abilities, but current education policy discussions have not defined those abilities well, according to a special report released this afternoon by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science in Washington.
A “who’s who” team of experts from the National Academies’ division of behavioral and social sciences and education and its boards on testing and on science education collaborated for more than a year on the report, intended to define just what researchers, educators, and policymakers mean when they talk about “deeper learning” and “21st-century skills.”
“Staying in school and completing degrees clearly have very strong effects,” said James W. Pellegrino, a co-editor of the report and co-director of the Interdisciplinary Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Americans get about 7 to 11 percent return in higher career earnings based on their years of schooling, “and cognitive skills don’t explain all the effects of schooling. Schooling is probably a proxy for some combination of different clusters of skills,” he said.
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