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Counting What Counts

Reframing Education Outcomes

Overemphasizing test scores as measures of achievement is potentially harmful to education. The contributors identify key traits such as mindset, motivation, social skills, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit that students, teachers, and schools need to acknowledge and cultivate. Educators are asked to shift the evaluation paradigm to focus on a multiplicity of skills necessary for success in the 21st century.


  • Examine the problems with current measures of students’ skills.
  • Review various ways personality traits influence achievement.
  • Learn how motivational factors interact with each other.
  • Discover the importance of and how to measure global competence.
  • Appraise strategies for improving school climates.
  • Explore nonacademic qualities valuable to long-term educational outcomes.

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Counting What Counts

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Introduction: The Danger of Misguiding Outcomes: Lessons from Easter Island
Chapter 1: Numbers Can Lie: The Meaning and Limitations of Test Scores
Chapter 2: Celebrity for Nothing: The Rise of the Undervalued
Chapter 3: Personal Matter: Personality Traits
Chapter 4: Dreams and Nightmares: Motivational Factors
Chapter 5: The Makers: Creativity and Entrepreneurial Spirit
Chapter 6: Globally Speaking: Global Competence
Chapter 7: Friends and Enemies: Social Network and Social Capital
Chapter 8: Nature via Nurture: Development of Nonacademic Skills
Chapter 9: Shifting the Paradigm: Assessing What Matters