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Chart: Lifetime earnings by degree type
Brookings Now

Charts of the Week: Back to school

It’s back-to-school time across the U.S., and around the world. Here are some data about learning and education from Brookings research.

STUDENTS HAVE LOW ENGAGEMENT WITH CIVICS OUTSIDE CLASSROOMS

Figure: 12th-grade students' reported participation in civics-oriented activities
(Click image to enlarge)

The 2018 edition of the Brown Center Report on American Education included a section on student experiences in civics education. The researchers looked at NAEP data to determine how often 12th-grade students participated in civics-related activities. “These survey responses,” the authors write, “suggest that engagement with current issues outside the classroom, as part of a civics curriculum, is rare.”

PLAYFUL LEARNING FOR EDUCATION PROGRESS

“To leapfrog in education,” Rebecca Winthrop writes, “we must open ourselves to new ways of teaching and learning that may differ from those found in a traditional classroom setting.” In her recent paper, Winthrop, director of the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, argues that “playful learning” experiences for children are a way for youth worldwide to more rapidly gain the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century.

Figure 5 Where are Innovations.

COLLEGE GRADUATES EARN MORE OVER THEIR LIFETIME THAN HIGH-SCHOOL ONLY GRADUATES

Research from the Hamilton Project at Brookings shows that over the course of a lifetime, median earnings of those with a college degree are twice that of those with only a high school diploma. “Although the labor market return to a college degree varies, particularly by the characteristics of a student and her chosen field of study,” per the research, “those with postsecondary degrees generally have higher lifetime earnings than those who do not.”

Chart: Lifetime earnings by degree type
(Click to enlarge image)

Visit the education topic page for more research and commentary on the subject.

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