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Educationists have since long harbored on methods to improve the Cognitive Abilities of the students. Scientist such as Hart and Risley, and numerous educationists round the world have been advocating methods to improve the students purely on basis of enhancing their cognitive abilities. There is something undeniably compelling about the cognitive hypothesis- such a clear case of inputs here leading to outputs there. Fewer books in the home means less reading ability; fewer words spoken by parents means a smaller vocabulary for their kids; more math worksheets at Junior school means better math scores. Parents have always stayed convinced that more homework and hard rule of disciplining their ward is a definite way to success.

Cognitive Abilities

Cognitive skills involve conscious intellectual effort, such as thinking, reasoning, and remembering. Cognitive abilities are brain-based skills we need to carry out any task from the simplest to the most complex. They deal with the mechanisms of how we learn, remember, problem-solve, and pay attention. Children develop cognitive skills rapidly in the first few years of life and build on them progressively throughout their school and college.

Perhaps the time has come to ask ourselves whether all this is really true? We need to dwell deep into questions like Who succeeds and who fails? Why do some children thrive while others lose their way? And what can any of us do to steer an individual child —or a whole generation of children towards succeeding in life.

In the past decade, and especially in the past few years, a disparate congregation of economists, educators, psychologists, and neuroscientists have begun to produce evidence that calls into question many of the assumptions behind the cognitive hypothesis. What matters most in a child’s development, they say, is not how much information we can stuff into her brain in the first few years. What matters, instead, is whether we can help her develop a very different set of qualities, a list that includes persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit, and self-confidence. Economists refer to these as noncognitive skills, psychologists call them personality traits, and the rest of us sometimes think of them as character.

For certain skills, the stark calculus behind the cognitive hypothesis —that what matters in developing a skill is starting earlier and practicing more —is entirely valid. If you want to perfect your air rifle shot, shooting fifty shots every afternoon is indeed going to be more helpful than shooting ten shots a week. If you’re in fourth class, reading forty good story books over the summer is going to improve your reading ability more than reading four books. Some skills are really are mechanical. But when it comes to developing the more subtle elements of the human personality, things aren’t so simple. We can’t get better at overcoming disappointment just by working harder at it for more hours. And children don’t lag in curiosity simply because they didn’t start doing Vedic Maths Classes or Dance Classes at an early enough age. However the interesting fact is that the pathways through which we acquire and lose these skills are certainly not random —psychologists and neuroscientists have learned a lot in the past few decades about where these skills come from and how they are developed —but they are complex, unfamiliar, and often quite mysterious.

Non Cognitive Skills

Noncognitive or “soft skills” are related to motivation, integrity, and interpersonal interaction. Noncognitive skills are associated with an individual’s personality, temperament, and attitudes. They include emotional maturity, empathy, interpersonal skills and verbal and non-verbal communication. Noncognitive skills influence the overall behavior of a person.
According to James J. Heckman and Alan B. Krueger, who are renowned scientists in the field of Noncognitive studies, sometimes, the most persistent, self-disciplined, adaptable and reliable students and professionals outperform those with higher cognitive abilities. This is acquiring more weight with the advent of technology and coming of Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence

Vision Global School has held number of workshops & sessions to address this issue. This is a process, which is growing clearer and gathering momentum in classrooms and clinics and labs and lecture halls across the country and around the world. According to this new way of thinking, the conventional wisdom about child development over the past few decades has been misguided. We have been focusing on the wrong skills and abilities in our children, and we have been using the wrong strategies to help nurture and teach those skills.

We have tried to compile various such methods, strategies & research papers on our website for assisting the parents.

We have taken assistance from Centre of Developing Child, Harvard University; and several experts on the subject. Please go through these to expand your horizon while searching answers to the above questions.

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