Hard skills such as language skills, basic computer skills and of course, math or numeracy skills are very important in today’s world for any one person to practice his or her profession successfully. However, soft skills like critical thinking, problem solving, being motivated, effective communication and social skills are just as important, and these days, there is concern that today’s graduates lack these skills that will help make them good workers.
In any case, schools are now looking closely at how important these soft skills are for success, according to an article by Mirabel Shanny for Education News.
Teaching soft skills in schools yields promising results
According to Shanny, there are studies showing that teaching soft skills in schools could yield promising results. Some of the research in fact indicates that resilience, integrity, resourcefulness, professionalism, ambition and other “noncognitive skills” needs to be developed in students.
Shanny also reports that some Hawaiian schools are already getting a leg up over everybody by implementing programs—for an hour a week—designed to build social, emotional and character skills among its students. The results are pretty encouraging: there have been “fewer suspensions, lower absenteeism and better reading and math scores on standardized tests” upon implementation of the said programs.
This is something I wholeheartedly agree with. I have always advocated teaching children skills that go beyond the classroom. Math, language and other hard skills are absolutely essential, but the soft skills mentioned above are certainly something our children can use when they grow up. Growing up, after all, occurs along many dimensions. Social interactions and the ability to do so well are vital for our society. They may be harder to quantify than, say, math test scores, but just because they are harder to measure does not make it any less important than mathematics knowledge.
Click here to read the full article.