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?