Thursday, August 18, 2011

Soft Skills

Who among you loves NPR? I know I do.

As school kicks off for the year, I found this interesting story from the folks at Planet Money.

The best career prepartaion? Go to preschool. Here's a list of skills that economist James Heckman had 2 groups go through 'worker training' to gain:
- being able to pay attention and focus
- being curious and open to new experiences
- being able to control your temper and not get frustrated

One group was able to exhibit these behaviors, the other was not.

The difference? Preschool. Those skills he was looking for are not able to be taught as an adult, in high school, not even in elementary school. They are ingrained in preschool.

The economist also points to the Ypsilanti, Michigan study from the 1960s that followed kids from 3 or 4 years old to adulthood. One group went to preschool, the other did not. They had all the same experiences (more or less) - same public schools, etc.

The result? "When researchers followed up with the kids as adults, they found huge differences. At age 27, the boys who had – almost two decades earlier – gone to preschool were now half as likely to be arrested and earned 50 percent more in salary that those who didn't.

And that wasn't all. At 27, girls who went to preschool were 50 percent more likely to have a savings account and 20 percent more likely to have a car. In general, the preschool kids got sick less often, were unemployed less often, and went to jail less often. Since then, many other studies have reported similar findings."

Check out the article for more info! And GOOD LUCK THIS YEAR!!!

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