PALO ALTO, Calif.--(The Decision Education Foundation (DEF) has released the results of a year-long study establishing the benefits of including decision education within a school’s curriculum.)--
“We were convinced of the value of DEF’s curriculum before the study. It’s exciting to see the benefits demonstrated conclusively, so that other educators and institutions will recognize the importance of providing students with decision skills.”
Conducted with a group of high school history students in Springfield, Ore., the randomized study demonstrated that integrating decision skills training into U.S. history instruction improves students’ academic performance and decision skills, when compared with a traditional classroom approach.
During the study, sophomores participating in a U.S. history course whose curriculum had been enhanced with decision skills training scored better on a national assessment of history knowledge, in addition to outperforming peers on measures of decision competence. The 5% average improvement in academic performance on the history test is broadly equivalent to improving from a B+ to an A.
Although prior research confirms that decision competence positively impacts life outcomes, in-school interventions to improve decision making face many practical challenges to adoption within a crowded curriculum. “Decision making is rarely taught in high school, even though improved decision skills could benefit young people facing life-shaping choices,” explains DEF Executive Director Chris Spetzler. “With statistically significant results, this study underscores the benefits of decision training, in addition to showing how it can be done inside existing courses.”
Springfield School District Superintendent Nancy Golden was instrumental in supporting the adoption of the innovative curriculum. “We were convinced of the value of DEF’s curriculum before the study. It’s exciting to see the benefits demonstrated conclusively, so that other educators and institutions will recognize the importance of providing students with decision skills."
Results of the DEF study are being published by PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed, open access online journal. The article can be viewed at http://www.DEFplosone
About DEF: Created by a group of leading educators, decision scientists, and business professionals, the Decision Education Foundation is committed to empowering young people with effective decision skills that enhance their prospects for a better life. For more information about DEF, visit the foundation’s website at http://www.decisoneducation.org.