Non-cognitive factors and improved academic and life outcomes: theory

This page is an introduction to some of the key academic literature on what non-cognitive skills are and why they are important for successfully transitioning through the educational pipeline and beyond.

Garcia, 2016 – The Need to Address Non-cognitive Skills in the Education Policy Agenda:

The chapter reviews what is known about the non-cognitive skills, what they are, why they are important and how these affect the educational process. Some of the skills listed are critical thinking, problem solving, social, and emotional health. Other skills include self-control, self-regulation, persistence, academic confidence, team work, organisational and communication skills. The chapter proposes some guidelines for how to design educational policy that can nurture the non-cognitive skills in classrooms. The notion of the educated person was highlighted and suggested that educational policies must establish the strategies to help individuals to become fully educated.

Sanchez-Ruiz et al., 2016 – Non-Cognitive Variables and Academic Achievement: The Role of General and Academic Self-Efficacy and Trait Emotional Intelligence:

This study focuses on self-efficacy constructs such as academic and emotional self-efficacy, highlighting the relationship between self-efficacy and academic performance, and discusses the issues related to measurement of variables, research designs and statistical methods. The authors pointed out the lack of cross-cultural research in this area and divergence effects of cultural differences.​

Petway, Brenneman, & Kyllonen, 2016 – Connecting Non-Cognitive Development to the Educational Pipeline:

This piece describes how non-cognitive skills such as social awareness, resilience, self-confidence, self-management and motivation are important for successful transition through the educational pipeline. They suggested that the development of such skills early, starting from childhood to adolescence could help in their success in schools and beyond.