Clearing the Future


The formative five: fostering grit, empathy, and other success skills every student needs by Thomas R. Hoerr
ASCD, November 16, 2016

One of the primary roles of educators is to prepare their students for success in a future world “in which the only constant will be change.”  What are those noncognitive skills required by students for success in such a world, and how can they be developed and assessed?  In The Formative Five: Fostering Grit, Empathy, and Other Success Skills Every Student Needs, author Thomas Hoerr identifies the five formative “success skills” (empathy, self-control, integrity, embracing diversity, and grit) that he predicts will be essential for the success of students in the future. The challenge of educators, however, is how to teach effectively these social-emotional skills in an educational landscape that focuses on academic outcomes. Designed as a proverbial “how to” book on teaching the five identified success skills, the book offers supporting literature on the importance of each skill, self-assessments for reflection and discussion, and specific strategies to help educators present each one to students. While it may not be seminal work in the development of noncognitive skills, Hoerr’s book provides clear, concise, and readily usable tools for all educators.

Submitted By: Brian O'Malley, St. Albans School, Washington, DC

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