Brains vs. Social Butterflies: Which is Better?
Reported August 2010
URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- The moment kids walk into kindergarten, parents and teachers encourage students to study hard to get good grades. But there's much more to school then just getting straight A's.
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Math, science, English, Spanish, GPAs and SATs. They're all part of growing up! So are the sports, clubs, cliques, and chitter chatter, and it turns out, socializing may be good for your child's future.
Research sociologist, Christy Ileras, Ph.D., a research sociologist at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Ill., says there's more to a successful life than a high GPA or SAT score.
"It's not just teaching students content, but also demanding and rewarding the kinds of behaviors and skills that are being reward by employers in the labor market," Dr. Lleras told Ivanhoe.
If you really want your child to succeed, encourage extracurricular activities, like drama club and sports.
"I'm a diver and I play baseball," John Seyler, a sophomore at Urbana High School, said.
"I also do choir and I take vocal lessons outside of school," Joanna Nowak, a senior, said.
"My parents, they've been very supportive and very encouraging of me and all of my siblings to all go and try and do something other than schoolwork," Abby Taylor, a sophomore, said.
A new study found students who had better social skills, work habits and participated in more after school activities, completed more college and made 12 percent more money, 10 years later.
"It could be that students who have better social skills are just better communicators," Dr. Lleras said. "They're better able to network and navigate and find out about job opportunities."
Students still need to strive for high GPAs and SAT scores, but being more involved in school could help students land that dream job.
"I feel that this has helped me learn how to work with other people," Taylor said.
Working well with others now for a successful future.
Fine arts programs were also associated with significantly higher earnings for African American and Hispanic students, 10 years later.
The American Sociological Association contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.
Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:
Christy Lleras, PhD
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Urbana, IL 61801
American Sociological Association
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