474: Back to School

474: Back to School

Sep 14, 2012
As kids and teachers head back to school, we wanted to turn away from questions about politics and unions and money and all the regular school stuff people argue about, and turn to something more optimistic — an emerging theory about what to teach kids, from Paul Tough's new book How Children Succeed. Photo: Theo takes the marshmallow test.
  • Our story picks back up with the question of how non-cognitive skills can be taught to older kids — who have gone much longer without learning things like self-control, conscientiousness and resilience. Ira returns to the story of Kewauna, the Chicago teenager, who talks about the dramatic ways in which she changed her life. They discuss an intervention by Kewauna’s family, and the programs that have helped her thrive. Economist James Heckman then discusses they ways in which this shift in emphasis could change the way we practice education and the way we think about learning. (11 minutes)
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