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Conference Presentation at the 2009 RC28 meeting in Beijing China, "The Role of Non-Cognitive Skills in Educational Achievement in Rural China

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigator:   Deborah Lowry

Research in the United States and Europe suggests that noncognitive skills (for instance, perseverance, consistency, and emotional regulation) are shaped by early-life environments and play a significant role in determining educational outcomes. However, the importance of noncognitive skills for academic achievement has yet to be investigated in the context of developing societies. This award will fund presentation of a paper titled “The Role of Non-cognitive Skills in Educational Achievement in Rural China,” at the annual meeting of the International Sociological Association (ISA) Research Committee 28 on Social Stratification and Mobility in Beijing, China (2009).This research investigates the effects of both cognitive and noncognitive traits on educational outcomes for children in rural China using longitudinal data from the Gansu Survey of Children and Families (GSCF). The award also provides support for a month-long workshop beginning titled Fundamentals of Survey Methodology. Studying survey methodology in China will provide an on-site opportunity to discuss conveniently with Chinese students, scholars, and other interested parties how to minimize challenges of survey research in China. These formal and informal conversations about the practicalities of survey research in Chinese settings will be highly valuable. Finally, this travel opportunity will assist in establishing networks with Chinese scholars and international scholars who are conducting related research in other settings.

Funding Period: 04/01/2009 to 06/30/2010

Country of Focus: China

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