Special Education

Social Skills Key to Future Success

By Christina A. Samuels — March 31, 2009 1 min read
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This’ll be a light blogging week as I work on another story, but I wanted to pass this along: I have heard some parents of children with disabilities suggest that it is difficult to have “soft skills” included on their child’s individualized education program. This study, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, suggests why such skills are important.

According to a University of Illinois professor who studies the sociology of education, high school sophomores who were rated by their teachers as having good social skills and work habits, and who participated in extracurricular activities in high school, made more money and completed higher levels of education 10 years later than their classmates who had similar standardized test scores but were less socially adroit and participated in fewer extracurricular activities.... “That’s not to say that academic achievement in high school doesn’t matter – it does,” [the researcher] said. “But if we only look at standardized test scores, we’re only considering part of the equation for success as an adult in a global marketplace...."

For a look at Education Week articles and online chats on special education and social skills, click here. The website is hosting an “open house” through April 8, so this is an opportunity for you to read up (and hopefully, decide to subscribe!)

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A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.