Leading experts in the field of education have long claimed that noncognitive skills, such as motivation, grit and mindset, play an important role in social and academic success. Now, a leading federal testing program in America is preparing to take a look at how these factors affect our nation’s children and their development. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) will include gages of these noncognitive factors in their background information tests starting in 2017.
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According to researchers from the Educational Testing Service, the NAEP background assessment will be conducted in the shape of a survey consisting of five core areas that include grit, desire for learning, school climate, technology use and socioeconomic status.
The test may additionally contain noncognitive-related questions on factors such as self-efficiency and personal achievement goals. These questions will likely be involved for particular subjects to build content-area measures.
After testing different versions of the assessment’s questions on 140 students in a three-state area around the District of Columbia, researchers found that general questions were preferred over specific school-related questions. The students, from grades 4, 8 and 12, additionally responded better to questions that were worded in a much more simplified and relatable way.
Testing the Waters
California has prepared a coalition of seven school districts that will receive a waiver from some federal accountability requirements. These districts will develop a different accountability system where 40% of a school’s evaluation will contain factors such as school culture, social development and emotional learning.
While some districts may be held accountable and sanctioned for poor academic accountability, coalition schools with subpar noncognitive ratings will only be partnered with a mentor school that has performed better.
Children Are the Priority
The newfound recognition of noncognitive factors and their effects on a child’s development is a sign of great things to come. While changes to the way students are evaluated in education may not come in the near future, progress shows the importance of a child’s emotional and social growth.
At the Rice Psychology Group, we know how important your child’s development is. If you’ve noticed any behavioral, emotional or social issues in your child, know that our team of professionals is ready to help. We’ll help you and your loved ones take the right course of action and make strides for a better future. Contact our expert staff in Tampa for more information today.