This week, I was conversing with a brilliant mind with whom I work, @CourtneyKofeldt, discussing new ideas for presentations. We had been visiting another school where #softskills were discussed as the “skills of the future,” and the more I thought about this, the more accurate that statement became.
In education, we have moved so far away from what is really important and more towards testing. The important skills are not route memory or how well a student can sit at a test; the important skills are those that allow students to think for themselves. The real 21st century skills are communication and collaboration. If students can work together to problem solve, then those “jobs of the future” that educators talk so much about, will not be a problem. “The U.S. Department of Labor links (http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/youth/softskills/) to a curriculum focused on teaching workforce readiness skills to youth ages 14-21 called ‘Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success.’ The course consists of six modules: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem-solving and critical thinking, and professionalism.”
If we don’t begin to train students these skills, the employers of the future will be hard-pressed to find the workforce needed.