Dr Tim Kautz, Professor James J. Heckman, Professor Ron Diris, Professor Bas ter Weel and Professor Lex Borghans
This piece is a review of literature on measuring and fostering cognitive and non-cognitive skills, looking at a variety of interventions targeted at different stages of a pupil’s life.
It draws four main conclusions from the evidence on interventions. First, most of the evidence base focuses on the long-term effectiveness of interventions that start in early childhood and elementary school. Second, when evaluating skill enhancement programmes it is vital to consider outcomes other than IQ or achievement test scores. Third, the most successful adolescent remediation programmes are not as effective as the most successful early childhood and elementary school programmes. And fourth, adolescent remediation is possible for children who grow up in disadvantaged environments in their early years.
The authors suggest that the evidence indicates that the most promising adolescent interventions are those that target non-cognitive skills, as well as programmes that offer mentoring, guidance and information.
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