Improved Learning in U.S. History and Decision Competence with Decision-Focused Curriculum

Published in: PLoS ONE, v. 7, no. 9: e45775, Sep. 21, 2012, 3 p

Posted on RAND.org on September 01, 2012

by David Jacobson, Andrew M. Parker, Chris Spetzler, Wandi Bruine de Bruin, Keith Hollenbeck, David Heckerman, Baruch Fischhoff

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Decision making is rarely taught in high school, even though improved decision skills could benefit young people facing life-shaping decisions. While decision competence has been shown to correlate with better life outcomes, few interventions designed to improve decision skills have been evaluated with rigorous quantitative measures. A randomized study showed that integrating decision making into U.S. history instruction improved students' history knowledge and decision-making competence, compared to traditional history instruction. Thus, integrating decision training enhanced academic performance and improved an important, general life skill associated with improved life outcomes.

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