Friday, June 6, 2008

The importance of soft skills

There have been a series of recent reports that have raised red flags about our current educational models, and preparation for the world of work. This subject is much more complex than can be sorted out in one blog post, but I did want to share information about some trends emerging in public education that are a good thing, in my opinion.

Mere academic strength is no longer enough. Possessing “soft,” or “applied skills"; skills encompassing elements like having the ability to work comfortably with people from other cultures, creative problem-solving skills, writing and speaking well, thinking in a multidisciplinary way, and being able to evaluate information critically. Additionally, students need to be punctual, dependable, and industrious.

High schools, like Sacramento's New Technology High School, are incorporating interpersonal skills, as part of 10 learning outcomes that students must master as they progress through their academic programs.

While programs like WorkReady are necessary, and a key part of ensuring that the labor needs of Maine companies are being met, providing these skills as part of the K-12 experience is even better.

The WorkReady curriculum is being adopted by at least two Maine high schools, and offered to students during their junior, or senior year.

You can read an article about soft skills in school, from Education Week, here.

No comments: