The paper presents a critical analysis of the concept of “non-cognitive”, often used by policymakers, educators, researchers and teachers when addressing that vast and varied set of skills that affect students’ learning but that do not fall within areas such as mathematics, literacy, numeracy etc. While so widely diffused and used, the term “non-cognitive” can be problematic because it seems to highlight a separation between cognition and skills such as emotional and social ones, for example, that actually entails cognitive tasks such as focusing, reflecting, and problem-solving. The analysis of the concept of “non-cognitive” read against the one of “co-cognitive” has, furthermore, the aim of investigating the contents and ideas conveyed by both terms with specific attention to their educational and pedagogical implications.
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