Why “Soft Skills” Are So Important For Students
Importance Of Soft Skills
What are the most important things for children to learn while attending school? Most adults would answer with a list of fundamental skills, including reading, writing, mathematics, history, and more. However, most would not answer “soft skills” - but these are some of the most crucial factors in childhood development!
So-called “soft skills” are emotional and practical life skills that can be hard to quantify but are necessary for a happy, healthy life. As such, they are a vital part of a child’s growth during their school-age years. If you’re wondering whether these lesser-known skills should be taught in schools, wait until you hear just how much they really do have to do with your child’s success there - and in their life for years to come!
Communication - The Backbone of Education
Communication is one of the first soft skills that children begin to develop, and it is also one of the most fundamental. With good communication skills, children can communicate their questions and concerns and find answers to them - the very foundation of learning in every sense of the word!
Communication skills don’t just refer to speaking, either. A good communicator is also a good listener. Children who learn to listen well will do better in both academic and social scenarios - a welcome benefit for children of all ages!
Creative Thinking - A Pillar of Childhood Development
While creativity might not sound like a vitally important skill, there are few things more quintessential to the childhood experience. Children of every culture love to create, either through visual art, music, dance, or other forms of expression. Enabling them to do this by fostering and developing their creative thinking is a great way to ensure that they are emotionally balanced, healthy, and able to communicate thoughts and feelings to others in a way that inspires their peers to do the same.
Problem-Solving - The Foundation for Learning
When a child encounters a problem in the learning environment, their goal is to solve it. This is the foundation of education; math problems, test questions, puzzles, and projects - all of it starts with problem-solving.
To benefit from traditional learning, children must kn0ow how to identify a problem and create a solution. This is also true of less traditional environments, where the problem they encounter might be identifying how to interact with peers in a group activity or when to ask an adult for assistance. Regardless of the environment, problem-solving is crucial for the child’s success.
Decision Making - An Important Aspect of Maturity
Children are often indecisive. This is natural and will improve with age, but the intentional development of decision-making skills is an important aspect of a well-rounded education.
The role of decision-making in development is that of the catalyst. It will help children determine what to study and when in some environments, how to interact with peers in others. It will help children learn to be self-motivated rather than lazy, observant and obedient rather than disruptive and disrespectful. It is the key to good behavior and good choices.
Leadership - The Ultimate Goal
Once a child has mastered the basics of their other fundamental soft skills, leadership is the next logical step. This is because children naturally gravitate toward one another in peer relationships. They form groups, both formal and informal, from even the youngest cohort.
Older children will naturally move into leadership roles. Those who have mastered skills that others are still working on will also move into these roles. This is an excellent opportunity for every child to eventually experience the feeling of motivating and educating others while inspiring them to set and reach goals themselves. It is also the foundation of what will one day be a great workplace culture - and it all starts in the halls of the primary school!
How to Find Soft Skills in the School
If you are looking for a way to incorporate more soft skill learning into your child’s education, it is important to evaluate the curriculum your child’s school is using. Many modern curricula put much more of an emphasis on these skills, such as the whole-child focus of the Montessori approach. In these schools, students are treated as a whole person - mind, body, and soul - and are educated accordingly. As such, soft skills are a very important part of their education.
Sound like something you want for your child? Talk to their teacher or school administrators about what curricula options are available and which might be their best fit. You’d be surprised at just how many of today’s private and international schools are emphasizing these important life skills in their everyday instruction. One such chain is that of Global Indian International Schools, spread out in Tokyo, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, and Dubai. The school is known for the high-quality education it offers.