In this lecture for the Young Foundation and Studio Schools, Professor James Heckman reviews the evidence on the links between non-cognitive skills and outcomes in later life. He considered how levels of conscientiousness might affect the likelihood of a teenage pregnancy or prolong longevity - and the fact that openness and curiosity have a greater effect on academic outcomes than IQ scores.
He argues that contrary to long-held assumptions that these skills cannot be measured - the evidence is available and should be incorporated much more actively into spending decisions - particularly in times of cuts. And he makes the case for early investment in these skills, through character education in schools targeted primarily at less advantaged pupils and proactive family policy.
Nobel Prize Laureate James Heckman is considered one of the ten most influential economists in the world. His work focuses on the value of early investment in early childhood, and the importance of social and emotional support in determining outcomes in later life. He has been an influential voice in the Obama administration, and advised governments around the world.