If you are an educator, if you care about children, if you struggled because of your own childhood trauma, you MUST listen to –> this segment on “This American Life.” There is SO much more we need to focus on as we educate our children and prepare them for success in life.  We cannot focus just om test scores if we are going to actually serve this nation’s youth.

Quote from the piece:

“Test scores explain only a tiny fraction of the variability among individuals that say who is successful and who is not…”  –  Paul Tough

This show hosted by Ira Glass engages How Children Succeed author Paul Tough to discuss the importance – and place for – non-cognitive skills/soft skills/social skills education in our schools.  They discuss how children who have experienced trauma have brains that don’t have the executive functioning skills we assume all children to have. So, what are we doing to teach and support children with PTSD, attention “disorders” and behavior problems? This is something that we as educators need to really think about so we can support ALL students…  One third of students are getting left behind.  This is 100% unacceptable and it’s up to us to change our approach to preparing students for real-world success – especially those who have no model or way to learn these so-called soft skills.

What are these “non-cognitive skills?”  This is precisely what I draw attention to all the time and list at length on my website.  Here are some of those skills which can lead to student success according to the piece: 

Professionalism
Resourcefulness
Resilience
Grit
Self-control

If 1/3 of students DO NOT have the love they need in early childhood, we have to take a new approach NOW.

And by the way, according to this interview, “the United States has the highest college drop-out rate in the world.”  This is yet another very important discussion we must have… and soon.