An understanding of basic math and reading is a better indicator of future academic success than behavior is in preschool and kindergarten students, according to a recent study led by a Northwestern professor.
SESP professor Greg Duncan led an 11-person team in a four-year study researching factors affecting how well students do in school.
“We were interested in assessing the relational predictive power of various skills â€¦ kids had when they entered school,” Duncan said.
The researchers studied students entering school, looking at their academic performance, sociability and the number of fights they were involved in. They looked at data for students, in some cases up to seventh grade, and found that those who mastered elementary math and literacy skills early on were more likely to succeed in school, regardless of behavior, than those who were well-behaved but didn’t master academics. The study controlled for economic and family factors.