Thursday, November 4, 2010
Harlem zone & Skill Matters
In the early pages of chapter 8, "The Conveyor Belt" in Whatever It Takes, Paul Tough discusses the research on poverty of Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman. We learn that Heckman's research led him to really highlight the crucial fact that "skills matter. The more ability you have, the better you are likely to do in life."
Heckman also found, Tough notes, that "significant skill gaps exist--by race, class, and maternal education-and they open up very early," and "cognitive skills are not the only ones that matter." So what also remains important for success is a range of non-cognitive skills and "practical intelligence," a subject discussed by Haley Scholars reading Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers.
How do cognitive and social skills come into play for Haley Scholars and other apparently high achieving students at SIUE? In particular, what is one cognitive skill or aspect of practical intelligence (social savvy) that you and some your closest peers possess that seems to determine collegiate success? What early formal or informal training or guidance did you receive to hone the cognitive skill or feature of practical intelligence that stands out to you?
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A very important social cognitive skill is the ability to interact with people from all ages, backgrounds, and races. I think Haley Scholars have this skill because we are from different races and backgrounds therefore we can relate to different groups of people. I believe that I have this social cognitive skill as well. I grew up in a military family where we moved often. I have lived in different neighborhoods and have grown up in different schools. I have had many different experiences interacting with a lot of people. I also have parents that taught me good social skills. They taught me how to interact with adults and people that are not my own age. I have grown up with all ages around me and have learned how to be with people. I believe this is such an important skill because employers look for this quality. There are so many jobs where people skills are needed. A person could be very book smart but not have any people skills therefore they do not perform well at their job. People skills are very important.
I believe one of the most important skills you can have as a person whether it be a college student or not is dedication. Dedication to a profession or particular goal in life. If a person wants something to happen they have to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal in order to be successful. In my case and my fellow peers case it is doing well in school to obtain a degree that would then help us to secure a job in the working field. In order to achieve this goal we had to acquire skills that would allow us to reach collegiate success to get to the next step in life. The early guidance I received was that nothing is accomplished without hard work and dedication.
I feel one of the most important skills I, along with my Haley peers, possess is hard work. That was instilled in me when I was in elementary school. No television until my homework was completed, and no sports if my grades dropped. This has been one of the skills I use most in college.
Some classes you can use your natural abilities or instinct, but as you get further along in your education, you probably won't succeed without studying. All the of the Haley scholars have come from different backgrounds, cultures, and upbringings, but we share the skill of working until we get where we want to be. This is useful not only in school, but in future jobs and any facet of life.
I think an important social cognitive skill is the ability to interact with people from all walks of life. Haley scholars do because most of us are from diffent backgrounds and cultures. I belive I have this skill because my parents taught me from a young age it was important to accept people no matter what. I think it interseting to interat with people from diffent backgrounds to see different perspectives. I thik its improtant because it will help you thoughout life not only in college.
I think an important skill not taught to all people is perseverance and dedication. People need to learn that they have to work hard to get the things they want in life. What is the quote? A journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step? Many people who are unsuccessful at life think that it is because they don't have the resources or that they weren't given the right opportunities, but in reality, it is the perseverant and dedicated person who goes out and seeks those opportunities and takes advantage of them.
I believe that one of the most important skills in society is being a hard worker. I agree with my fellow Haley scholars that bieng smart is not enough, especially in college. Not only do you have to have an idea of what you are doing, but you have to be willing to work at it. If you do not want to work for what you believe or want, then nothing will happen. Students who do not study or find the help in tutoring rooms when they are struggling in school then they will not succeed. Unfortunately, we do not just dream up the answers to our problems, but instead, we have to work at it to be able to solve them. This not only goes for school work etc, but it works in our society and every day lives, too.
A social skill that helps a lot is the confidence to be outgoing and speak to people as far as networking goes. On the Siue campus, I find that a lot of black men (namely, the GAME students) are really good at that and quickly become popular.
The difficult part is the way those cognitive skills tend to transfer in different environments. In a corporate environment, communication techniques may be different and students of different backgrounds may have trouble adapting.
Basically, I think these cognitive skills are very important but more importantly, cultural differences may hinder the way these skills are exhibited in certain environments.
One of the most important cognitive skills that people can have is the ability to interact with others regardless of gender, class, orientation, race, or religion. Being an Early Childhood major one of the most important things we have to do at the preschool level is to teach children how to have good social skills among their peers, because these skills will follow you for the rest of your life. A lot of times we don't think about the little things like sharing, having empathy for others, being good listeners, taking turns, using kind words, etc. These are all behaviors that have to be taught, they don't just come automatically.
That's why it's important to not only have support in the classroom but also in the home. In my current placement my teacher stresses how important it is for her to get to know the parents early so they'll be more receptive to her; also that makes it easier when issues do arise concerning behaviors in the classroom. In adulthood having good social skills will come into play when going in the field for jobs as well as when it comes to forming and maintaining relationships with others.
The social skill is used all the time at SIUE. The skill is used when being able to talk to professors, being involved in activities and organizations. I like to use social savy like making professors and students I come in contact feel warm and feel like a friend. I would say probablt the skill I just presented because both of my parents are college gradutaes so they told me the things I need to do while I am at college.
Strong cognitive and social skills are definitely skills that Haley Scholars and other high achieving students at SIUE possess. Good cognitive skills are the skills that allow Haley Scholars and other good students to learn and comprehend school subjects, being academically successful as a result. One cognitive skill in particular that determines the collegiate success of some of my closest peers and I is our ability to pay attention. Attention skills allow us to be able to stay focus, stay on task, and retain key information avoiding any distractions. All of which are important for succeeding in college. The early guidance I received to hone this cognitive skill is my mother constantly telling me to pay attention and be aware of my surroundings. Because my mother stressed the significance of paying attention daily it was instilled in me. I was raised to see the importance of paying attention to whatever it is that I'm doing whether I'm in class or simply walking down the street. Cognitive skills are important for learning and being successful.
I think that Haley scholars have social cognitive skills because we are all of different races and we have the ability to interact with each other. I believe that one cognitive skill that is important to have is hard work and determination. I think that hard workers get somewhere in life and deserve to because they have earned what they worked for. I am a strong believer in working for something. For example, I don't just take money without earning it. I also think it is important to have determination because without it, it would be incredibly hard to get things accomplished. Overall, I think that both of those combined would add up to success and the person would deserve it.
Cognitive skills assist Haley Scholars and other college students by reinforcing academic success. Self-determination is an extremely important cognitive skill to possess. You have to be willing and determined to truly succeed in college. You have to have your own burning desire. Having strong self-determination, motivates a student to become a high achiever and it reinforces academic success. In order to truly succeed, you have to first be determined to acquire success. My parents introduced me to the principle of hard work and self-determination. They not only taught me about this, but they led by example. They taught me that in order to have something you want, you have to be willing and determined to achieve it.
One aspect of practical intelligence that my peers and I posses is knowing how to handle business matters and speaking to those who have higher authority than we do. Being at an institution such as SIUE there are often mistakes that may happen with financial aid or even a professor and you need to know how to express your concern and resolve those matters. It is very important for a college student to "handle their business" instead of not dealing with it at all or passing it off to their parents. My friends and I know how to express what we want or need and why it should happen. This all involves knowing how to talk to others who are different and come from other backgrounds and even those who are substantially older, by asking what you want and still being respectful
I believe from my experience I learned this from home. My mother has a firm way or handling business and after seeing her do it for so long it rubbed off on me. It is something that I am proud of because no one is going to run over me and Im able to do things on my own
I believe that an important cognitive skill is hard work. Being really smart wont't guaranty you a job in the future. It will be a combination of both knowledge and skill, but being a hard worker will make you stand out from the rest. I was shown this by both my parents and my teachers throughout life.
I think that the one very crucial skill needed to do well in school is attitude. I've seen all sorts of attitude and having the correct one is very important to doing well. Students generally have two attitudes, caring and nonchalant. Students can be caring about their studies, maximizing or prioritizing studies over having fun, and student that do the opposite. This includes not attending class, cramming at the last minute, when they have plenty of time to study before, and of course, choosing fun over work. These are students that tend to drop out of college after not putting a genuine effort. If I were going to recommend advice to any student, I would tell then to seriously think about why they are here in college. If they are here for fun and little work, then they better be prepared for a short stay. For more outgoing students, i would say spare no less effort in studying and understanding what they've learned. Overall, attitude was essential.
I am not sure if it was something I learned at home, school, or just hanging out in Chicago as a youth, but I tend to have a knack for assessing the important information in a cluster of “stuff”.
Whether it’s reading a book and keying in on what the author is truly saying to me (and others), or identifying early on those, in a new social situation, to keep at a distance. That last one has kept me out of serious trouble over the years.
One of my favorite quotes comes from Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, not sure if he originated it but it has stuck with me over the years, “The purpose of education is to reduce the seduction of eloquence.” In short, the more you prepare yourself mentally, the better armed you are against those that would lead you astray.
I believe in preparing myself for all kinds of situations from the boardroom to the production line, learning how to deal success as well as failure and for me balancing work, school and family (wife and three children).
Being able to zero in on what’s really going on (though not always successful) and accepting the lessons learned from my many mistakes over the years has allowed me to navigate some very serious situations and come out on the other side, if not victorious, then that much stronger and hopefully a little wiser.
An important social cognitive skill is confidence. Without confidence nobody I know would have faith in themselves to try to achieve their goals. I believe that I can do anything no matter how difficult because that is how my parents raised me. My close friends are the same, we all were brought up the same and have so far been successful in all that we do. If I did not have confidence I do not think I would have made it this far. You have to encourage yourself to do well because confidence is key, if you do not believe in yourself nobody else will.
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