Noncognitive skills in the classroom

New perspectives on educational research


Rosen, J., Glennie, E., Dalton, B., Lennon, J., & Bozick, R. N. (2010). Noncognitive skills in the classroom: New perspectives on educational research. (RTI Press Publication No. BK-0004-1009). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press. DOI: 10.3768/rtipress.2010.bk.0000.1009


This book provides an overview of recent research on the relationship between noncognitive attributes (motivation, self efficacy, resilience) and academic outcomes (such as grades or test scores). We focus primarily on how these sets of attributes are measured and how they relate to important academic outcomes. Noncognitive attributes are those academically and occupationally relevant skills and traits that are not “cognitive”—that is, not specifically intellectual or analytical in nature. We examine seven attributes in depth and critique the measurement approaches used by researchers and talk about how they can be improved.


Jeffrey RosenJeffrey A. Rosen, PhD, is an education research analyst at RTI International. Dr. Rosen has research interests in survey methodology and educational policy. His interests in survey methodology include approaches for reducing nonresponse bias in sample surveys. Dr. Rosen’s interests in educational policy include student mobility, dropout, and policies for at-risk student populations.

Elizabeth GlennieElizabeth Glennie, PhD, is a Senior Research Analyst in the Education and Workforce Development division at RTI International. She leads projects that involve acquiring and using data to conduct innovative problem-focused research on challenges facing students, teachers, and schools. In addition to conducting research, she has provided practitioners with research-based technical support on using various forms of data. Before coming to RTI, Dr. Glennie was the first Director of the North Carolina Education Research Data Center at Duke University, where she created procedures for transforming student data routinely collected by the State of North Carolina into a longitudinal data system that permitted addressing various questions about the school system.

Benjamin DaltonBen W. Dalton, PhD, is an education research analyst at RTI International with expertise in the study of high school students, the high school curriculum, career and technical education, and international assessments of achievement. His research interests include course-taking and curriculum differentiation, racial and ethnic differences in educational outcomes, and the organizational characteristics of schools.

Jean LennonJean M. Lennon, PhD, is a research education analyst at RTI International with 15 years of experience in a broad range of education-related issues and research methodologies. Dr. Lennon is primarily interested in how early childhood experiences, both at home and in various care settings, impact later school outcomes.

RN BozickAt the time of writing, Robert N. Bozick, PhD, was an education research scientist in RTI's Education Studies Division.

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