Many debates about schooling are often very predictable. Perhaps one of the most predictable debates comes up around the question of the outcomes of schooling: in public policy debates about school accountability, in private lounge room conversations among parents about what they want from schools for their children. Very quickly in these conversations someone will point out that schooling is meant to provide many more things than just “academic” outcomes. Politicians, like President Obama (and George W. Bush before him), will make the case that schooling needs to promote the kind of innovative thinking and spirit needed to advance the nation, economically and socially. Parents are likely to have some sense of the kind of values and character they hope their children might garner from schools (even if that is an antiauthoritarian, resistant disposition). No one really expects to settle these debates, and many debaters are likely to accept Linda McNeil’s view that significant results of learning are not measurable. But even with that common wisdom in mind, somewhere along the track education researchers may well be asked just what we know about schooling for outcomes beyond the traditional measured academic outcomes.
Review of Research in Education Vol. 34, Issue 1, p. 113-141