Broadly, our advice comes in the form of five key recommendations:
1. Help Schools Define and Build Cultures that Develop Non-Cognitive Skills, Then Assess Those Skills
2. Establish Shared Vocabulary and Meaning that Fosters Character Development and Student Accountability from Preschool through High School and Beyond
3. Develop Students’ and Teachers’ Ability to Navigate in a Diverse Society with Cultural Proficiency
4. Reinvent School Discipline as an Opportunity to Build Character
5. Design Opportunities for Students to Demonstrate Character in Student-Centered, Student-Led Initiatives
In each section, we have taken care to frame our ideas in a policy context. But, we also provide bite-sized action steps schools and districts can use to implement these ideas in the manner that best suits their needs, capacity, and context. Ultimately, policies will be most effective at driving successful practice when they begin with excellent practice. We hope that our work will prompt more conversation between educators and administrators and more discussion between policy makers and teachers. We publish these suggestions just as the conversation about college persistence and noncognitive skills is beginning to take hold. Indeed, if we are looking to integrate non-cognitive skill instruction as a key component of successful schools, the wind is at our backs. It is our hope that the recommendations in this report can help to speed that journey for our schools and our kids.