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Activity-based Instruction: Why and How

Step 1: Read the related research

Cognitive Skills Matter in the Labor Market, Even for Dropouts. John H. Tyler, Richard J. Murnane, and John B. Willett (NCSALL Report Summary #15, April 2000)

Cognitive Skills Matter in the Labor Market, Even for School Dropouts summarizes the research that considers data on dropouts, ages 16-21, from New York and Florida who took GED exams between 1986 and 1990 and determines that the average annual income of young dropouts is low and that for whites, minorities, males and females, skills are an important determinant for earnings. The authors discuss the unique nature and validity of their data and methodological approach and provide detailed data analysis. Data analysis reveals that young dropouts with higher cognitive skills can expect higher annual incomes. Inter-group variation exists as females experience higher economic benefits than males. Minorities, especially those with high skills, can expect greater financial returns than white dropouts. Based on these findings, the authors argue that teachers need to help students develop higher cognitive skills rather than merely prepare them to pass the GED test and conclude with a proposal for policy changes.

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