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Temperament in the Classroom

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  • Angela Lee Duckworth

    ()
    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Kelly M. Allred

    ()
    (University of Pennsylvania)

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    Abstract

    Variance in academic performance that persists when situational variables are held constant suggests that whether students fail or thrive depends not only on circumstance, but also on relatively stable individual differences in how children respond to circumstance. More academically talented children generally outperform their less able peers, but much less is known about how traits unrelated to general intelligence influence academic outcomes. This paper addresses several related questions: What insights can be gleaned from historical interest in the role of temperament in the classroom? What does recent empirical research say about the specific dimensions of temperament most important to successful academic performance? In particular, which aspects of temperament most strongly influence school readiness, academic achievement, and educational attainment? What factors mediate and moderate associations between temperament and academic outcomes? What progress has been made in deliberately cultivating aspects of temperament that matter most to success in school? And, finally, for researchers keenly interested in better understanding how and why temperament influences academic success, in which direction does future progress lie?

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    File URL: http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Duckworth_Allred_2012_temperament.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group in its series Working Papers with number 2012-003.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2012-003

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    1. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 607-68, September.
    2. Todd R. Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2007. "The Causal Effect of Studying on Academic Performance," NBER Working Papers 13341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Heckman, James J. & LaFontaine, Paul A., 2007. "The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels," IZA Discussion Papers 3216, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Borghans Lex & Lee Duckworth Angela & Heckman James J. & Weel Bas ter, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," ROA Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    5. Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
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