Sunday, October 22, 2017

What's More Important: Social Skills or Academic Knowledge?

The answer may be social skills. From Quartz:

New research from the Sutton Trust, a British foundation focused on social mobility, finds that 88% of young people, 94% of employers, and 97% of teachers say these so-called life skills are as or more important than academic qualifications. Perhaps more surprising: more than half of teachers surveyed—53%—believe these “non-cognitive” or “soft” skills are more important than academic skills to young people’s success.

“It is the ability to show flexibility, creativity, and teamwork that are increasingly becoming just as valuable, if not more valuable, than academic knowledge and technical skills,” said Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust.

The teachers’ perspective flies in the face of a decades-long movementfrom governments in the US and UK toward increased standards and testing. The more educators emphasize test scores, the more teachers feel hamstrung to focus their teaching on preparing for those tests, which crowds out the space to teach a subject they might love, or to underpin the subject with creative and collaborative projects and lessons to help build social and emotional learning, or character.

You can read more here.


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Hi Lou,

Here's some more context on studies in the workplace, not from an academic source but with some references to such:

I'm all about soft skills as you know, but for professional work, this may be more of a "both...and..." situation. Neither is sufficient in itself, and those with both should do demonstrably better.

All my best,

Posted by: Jennifer Romig | Oct 23, 2017 9:52:25 AM

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