Author Blog

Why Ruby's seven capabilities are so important we need to measure them

Bill Lucas reminds us of some of the evidence and shares thinking about why we must try to assess these important 'soft' skills

To call Ruby's 7Cs - creativity, curiosity, collaboration, communication, commitment and craftsmanship - 'soft' is hugely unhelpful. It implies they are not as important or demanding as the so-called hard stuff like the 3Rs. They are. They are what Harvard researcher David Perkins calls 'lifeworthy'.

Economists like James Heckman have made the case in terms of improved life outcomes such as higher employment rates and lower rates of crime.

Psychologists such as Angela Duckworth and Martin Seligman have shown how capabilities predict success in education more powerfully than conventional measures such as IQ. For example, students with greater self discipline apply themselves more to their schoolwork and are less likely to be distracted.

Employers the world over acknowledge that they are vital to the future prosperity. In a global world, people need to understand different cultures to collaborate across borders.

And the globally regarded Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests selected collaborative problem-solving in 2015 to sit alongside English, maths and science – a sure indication that this capability is both important and assessable.

In a recent post for The Conversation I explore the arguments in more detail and reflect on what Australia in general ant the State of Victori in particular is tryign top do to advance thinking in the area of cultiavting and tracking the development of capabilities in young people.

You can read the whole article here.