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Via an article in The Guardian I found an interesting research paper by Richard Murphy and Felix Weinhardt for which they asked 15,000 pupils to rate themselves in English, maths and science, and compared their rankings with their exam results. They did this at stage 2, when the pupils finish their primary education at age 11, and at key stage 3, when the pupils have turned 14 and are in secondary education. In their research Murphy and Weinhardt took into account factors such as parental involvement and concluded that “non-cognitive skills such as confidence, perseverance and resilience have large effects on achievement”.
From the Guardian:
It has long been one of education’s central tenets: pupils benefit from being around children who are brighter than them. Competition in the classroom raises standards across the board, so the argument goes, because the example of the brightest pupils will rub off on the rest…
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