Whole Duty of Children - Score


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Retrieved 31 August In the poem "My Shadow," for instance, the speaker's shadow becomes a kind of darker shadow self "not at all like Retrieved March 9, Poetry portal Children's literature portal.

Robert Louis Stevenson. Ives The years leading up to school entry and the first years of formal schooling are, thus, key windows of opportunity for the development of noncognitive skills. Unfortunately, we see the same divisions with respect to these opportunities as we do with cognitive skill development: Children who are disadvantaged by poverty and other factors develop noncognitive skills more slowly, and are less likely to have access to the supports to boost these skills.

They thus begin school behind, putting themselves, their teachers, and their classmates at a disadvantage. Indeed, a recent study documents how large these early gaps are by the time of school entry. The noncognitive factors included in the PISA data are perseverance, sense of belonging to school, engagement with teachers, and attitude toward school—particularly a belief in the long-term value of school and a belief that effort will be rewarded.

Importantly, this research also shows that the associations between family and school characteristics and noncognitive skills differ depending on which factors are assessed. Moreover, this is true not only across skills, but also across ages and countries. And while this research is less extensive, the body of literature has increased significantly in recent years.

Indeed, four leading scholars of social and emotional learning collaborated in to bring together some of the most important work in this field with the goal of better incorporating noncognitive skills into education policy. Moreover, although various skills are not often studied in an integrated way, the processes of socio-emotional development and cognitive development are intertwined. Although the author acknowledges the sensitivity of these patterns to the skills used to construct the indices, the strong simultaneous relationships point to the difficulty of trying to boost cognitive skills without actively nurturing noncognitive ones.

Indeed, evidence increasingly suggests that social and emotional skills are foundational to the development of others.

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First and foremost, since noncognitive skills matter and can be nurtured in schools, developing them or, at the very least, establishing structures that are conducive to their development should be an explicit goal of public education. In practice, however, mainstream K—12 education policy has not generally prioritized the development of these skills in the classroom, and education policies are rarely shaped to support or incentivize schools to do so.

This disconnect is attributable to several factors. We have long had instruments to assess skills in reading, math, and other cognitive skills such as knowledge of science and history. While they are far from perfect, they have provided teachers, parents, and policymakers with a decent sense of what students know and have supported substantial research on how these skills are produced.

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In contrast, the accurate assessment of noncognitive skills is challenged not only by a dearth of reliable tests or other instruments, but, more fundamentally, by our failure to agree on valid, accepted framework, definitions, and metrics for them. Attempting to create such a list and set of definitions requires, among other things, that we specify as a society for what purposes and for whom the skills listed matter. Not surprisingly, those assessments can thus vary substantially; one recent study reports that parents and teachers provide different assessments of similar skills—including self-control, persistence, and the ability to relate well to others—among the same children.

While a broad range of social and emotional skills can be intentionally supported and developed, some are likely better suited to being nurtured in school settings, others at home, and yet others in multiple settings. It is thus important that researchers and practitioners work together to better identify these skills and to distinguish which belong in which of those categories. Indeed, one recent paper emphasizes the need for a distinct list of those that are best developed in schools and that should, thus, be higher priorities for education policies. The list includes critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, emotional health, work ethic, community responsibility, social skills closeness, affection and open communication with both peers and teachers , self-control, self-regulation, persistence, academic confidence, teamwork, organizational skills, creativity, and communication skills.

Despite the numerous challenges noted above, social and emotional skills are beginning to occupy a more central role in discussions about education.

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This prompts the need for thoughtful and concerted attention from researchers, policymakers, and practitioners regarding education policy components that must be considered in order to effect changes in how noncognitive skills are nurtured and advanced in schools, and to make the development of the whole child central to the mission of education policy. For example, the new requirement under ESSA that states report at least one new measure of student progress, beyond the traditional academic ones, is prompting states, districts, and schools to engage in discussions about which ones to use and how to measure and report them.

These include accurately measuring and assessing these skills as part of testing; integrating their development within curricula across all subjects; better training and supporting teachers to nurture them in their everyday instruction and classroom activities, including through a focus on building strong relationships; and reshaping our accountability framework at each level of government. Integrating social and emotional skills into the education policy agenda requires, first, the identification of a satisfactory and concrete list of these skills, and developing systems and scales to measure them.

Understanding and improving student—teacher relationships is core to getting this work right. The identification of those noncognitive skills that play important roles in education should prompt a discussion of how to design broader curricula as well as specific instructional strategies to promote those skills. Some noncognitive skills can be taught both directly and indirectly, i. Education policy thus must be enhanced to ensure that teachers are appropriately supported and trained, and that they receive instruction in both the subject matter and in learning how to teach it.

For example, in their research on student-centered learning approaches, Diane Friedlaender and her colleagues list a number of supports for teachers, from higher-quality preparation and induction to increased time for planning and collaboration. Many current disciplinary measures used to combat student misbehavior are at odds with the goal of nurturing noncognitive skills. Harsh measures, in particular in-school and out-of-school suspensions and expulsions, referrals to law enforcement, and even arrests often called, collectively, zero-tolerance policies , are increasingly used to punish low-level infractions.

They also correlate negatively with school achievement and school climate, and positively with dropouts. In light of the critical importance of noncognitive skills, exploring some of the challenges associated with the assessment of cognitive skills provides an opportunity to improve current accountability systems by rethinking how we conceive of and use these systems, and by building comprehensive assessment and accountability systems that use both quantitative and qualitative information to improve teaching and learning and, ultimately, student performance.

Accountability practices and policies must be broadened to make explicit the expectation that schools and teachers contribute to the development of noncognitive skills and to make the development of the whole child central to the mission of education policy. Designing such a system requires ensuring that new policies avoid replicating the mistakes of current accountability systems focused on cognitive skills, which have turned out to be overly rigid and narrow.

Despite the low priority assigned to noncognitive skills in U.

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This energy is reflected in multiple examples that demonstrate the potential to implement and scale up practices to nurture noncognitive skills in the education system. And these examples can help guide and disseminate strategies that would more fully educate our children. In exploring a few of these district-level initiatives, it is important to acknowledge the pioneering efforts that not only contributed to these efforts, but that have helped advance state and federal legislation geared toward supporting the development of noncognitive skills.

Due in part to these efforts, a growing minority of school districts in the United States have already made noncognitive skills a goal and a core component of their education systems. Organized sports, music and arts, yoga, and mediation, which many scholars tie to the development of social and emotional skills, are built in as core parts of the school day and year.


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Austin USD, one of those districts, has become a pioneer in making SEL core to academic standards, curriculum, teacher training and support, and even metrics for assessing student progress, and has seen widespread benefits for students as a result. Larger-scale, systemic efforts demonstrate both the promise and limitations of embedding SEL in school policy and practice.

A handful of pioneering states—Illinois, New York, and Ohio among them—have taken steps to embed noncognitive skills in schools through state-level legislative measures. These examples, which are scattered but increasing in number, can serve as models not only of how noncognitive skills can be better nurtured in schools, but of ways to build systems and structures to develop them beyond schools.

While most are too preliminary at this stage to surface best practices, exploration of their progress as they mature can, along with rigorous research, help identify those. In looking toward that future, we should seize this opportunity to ensure that noncognitive skills finally take their rightful place in education policy and practice.

The excellent guidance provided by Jane Quinn in that paper is greatly appreciated in this version. If homeschooled children are to succeed academically, their parents need to take their commitment seriously and provide individual instruction, seek out resources, and create a rich educational environment for their children.

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When these things do not happen—when parents are too overwhelmed to put in the effort or when homeschooled children are expected to work or provide instruction for their younger siblings rather than attending to their own studies—homeschooled children suffer educational neglect and may find their future prospects severely curtailed.

We at CRHE believe there should be basic standards in place to ensure that children being educated at home are actually making academic progress and gaining the skills they need for a positive and healthy future.


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  • With this in mind, we offer this brief as an introduction to the topic of educational neglect in homeschool settings, in the hopes that by drawing out common patterns we may be able to work toward effective and healthy solutions. Further, study participants are inevitably from wealthier, better educated, more intact families, meaning that they likely would have scored well above average regardless of the educational option their parents chose for them. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics suggests that the homeschool population is significantly more diverse than the samples commonly used in studies of homeschool achievement, meaning that these studies likely miss whole swaths of homeschoolers.

    They do not show that homeschooled children as a whole score above average or that educational neglect does not occur in homeschooling settings. The data also suggests that homeschool graduates who attend college perform well or above average but that homeschool graduates are less likely to attend college than graduates of conventional schools. Current oversight of homeschooling varies widely from state to state.

    Most states have some combination of notification, parent qualification, days of instruction, subject, bookkeeping, and assessment requirements. A few states have all six of these requirements, and a few have states none of them. Homeschooling is a large responsibility, and in some cases homeschool parents may become overwhelmed and let things slide.

    Sometimes parents have every intention of providing their children with thorough academic instruction, but because of factors like chronic illness, the demands of raising a large family, or economic instability, are unable to follow through. In some cases, older kids may have to put their education on the back burner when they are called on to help with housework, childcare, or educating their younger siblings.

    One of my daughters could not read at 11 years old. In most states, there currently is little accountability to ensure that learning takes place in homeschooling settings. We were out of touch. Sarah, another homeschool graduate, says that her mother meant well and purchased textbooks , but that she let things slide and certain subjects were overlooked entirely. In some cases, parents may simply be out of their depth but unwilling to seek out the resources needed to educate well. Kieryn Darkwater explains that their mother stopped trying to teach her algebra when it proved challenging—but that the problem was not her, but her mother.

    We do not have statistical data on the extent of educational neglect in homeschool settings. All we have at this point are anecdotes, stories of homeschool graduates who find themselves limited by their substandard education, and news stories regarding the prosecution of individual cases of educational neglect in homeschool settings. At around 15, he became interested in reading, especially his Bible, and he said that at that point he knew if he wanted to learn anything, no one would help him, he would have to do it himself.

    So he taught himself to read with a King James Bible. He is now an avid reader but still cannot write or spell well. His sisters taught themselves to read and his 25 year old brother can barely read—his wife has taught him how to read since they got married.

    In other words, my education was my responsibility, the lack of structure my fault.


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    • Some homeschool parents may neglect to provide their children with diplomas or transcripts upon reaching adulthood , thus making it difficult for their children to apply for college or pursue other opportunities.

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