Should Schools Teach Personality?

Posted on January 21, 2015

Photo: flickr

Self-control, curiosity, "grit" - these qualities may seem more personal than academic, but at some schools, they’re now part of the regular curriculum. Some researchers say personality could be even more important than intelligence when it comes to students' success in school. But critics worry that the increasing focus on qualities like grit will distract policy makers from problems with schools.

In a 2014 paper, the Australian psychology professor Arthur E. Poropat cites research showing that both conscientiousness (which he defines as a tendency to be "diligent, dutiful and hardworking") and openness (characterized by qualities like creativity and curiosity) are more highly correlated with student performance than intelligence is. And, he notes, ratings of students' personalities by outside observers - teachers, for instance - are even more strongly linked with academic success than the way students rate themselves. The strength of the personality-performance link is good news, he writes, because "personality has been demonstrated to change over time to a far greater extent than intelligence."

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Category(s):Child Development, Personality problems

Source material from New York Times

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