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Temperament in the Classroom

Author

Listed:
  • Angela Lee Duckworth

    () (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Kelly M. Allred

    () (University of Pennsylvania)

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?

Suggested Citation

  • Angela Lee Duckworth & Kelly M. Allred, 2012. "Temperament in the Classroom," Working Papers 2012-003, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2012-003
    Note: IP ECI
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    File URL: http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Duckworth_Allred_2012_temperament.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    2. 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 607-668, September.
    3. Stinebrickner Ralph & Stinebrickner Todd R., 2008. "The Causal Effect of Studying on Academic Performance," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-55, June.
    4. James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine, 2010. "The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 244-262, May.
    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Kremer, Kristen P. & Flower, Andrea & Huang, Jin & Vaughn, Michael G., 2016. "Behavior problems and children's academic achievement: A test of growth-curve models with gender and racial differences," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 95-104.

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