Soft skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, and problem solving are an exponentially important part of students’ life skills toolbox, yet assessing these skills remains a persistent challenge.

Eighty-three percent of teachers, 82 percent of parents, 82 percent of superintendents, and 83 percent of principals say it is equally important to assess both academic skills and nonacademic skills such as teamwork, critical thinking, and creativity, according to a new report commissioned by NWEA and conducted by Gallup.

But despite the agreement around importance, just 1 in 10 teachers say that the formal and informal assessments used by their school to gauge nonacademic skills measure them “very well.”

Teamwork seems to be the skill most in need of better assessment, with 42 percent of teachers saying the formal and informal assessments in their school do not measure teamwork well at all. Thirty percent of teachers say their school’s assessments do not measure students’ ability to consider different perspectives well at all.

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura


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