What does good education give you? A store of useful facts needed for navigating the world of work and get a handsome package? Or a set of soft skills to manage change in future and familiarize themselves with changes susceptible in future? Educationalists and politicians argue to and for between knowledge and skills. Truth be told a good education gives you both: one (knowledge) providing the other (skills) contexts to develop.
Research indicates that teaching and assessing students or any individual is much effective than listening to the lecture-based teaching. If this is true then it’s a good rationale for skills-based learning: teaching and assessing one another needs planning, group work, creativity, enquiry, evaluation and self-confidence
“Having growing numbers of students with A + grades is all well and good, but it doesn’t tell schools and employers much about them and what they can do to get lucrative. At schools, we need to emphasize on Skill-based training which is going to be the backbone of the Make-in-India initiative too and the best way to ensure that vocational training serves its intended purpose is through PPP, i.e., private and public collaboration. For instance, Aptech would attempt to train more than 2.33 million people nationwide over a period of 10 years in sectors such as banking, financial services, insurance, entertainment, organized retail and many more.
Given the sheer size of our 500 million plus workforce, India can be the driving force behind a global skills-based economy. The one challenge that is repeatedly tabled at every industry/employer forum is the acute shortage of skilled workers that the Indian industry is facing.
Skills-based learning at schools helps in developing and applying specific skills that can then be used to obtain the required knowledge. The classroom environment will encourage independence, as well as combining active-learning and collaboration to help the children retain the knowledge. This process allows the students to ‘access, process and then express’s the knowledge they have gained rather than merely writing it down. If you want to find the best school near you then searching on google and having a look at the schools is the best option available.
Skill-based education is most appropriate from Class VIII onward. It could even begin earlier to prevent school dropouts. Vocational training in schools helps push up student’s interest, attendance rates and encourage broader participation from students.
Skill-based education, if promoted seriously, can empower our vast, unemployed labor force and help India emerge as a critical contributor to a global skills-based economy enriching itself in the bargain.
While a robust skill-based education in how to do something specific – in teaching or engineering, in plumbing or computer science – goes a long way towards supporting students’ employability, there’s been a recent burst of awareness for just how vital so-called “soft skills” are for success as well.
Incorporating soft skills into your curriculum will give your students an advantage in completing their education. Additionally, they will be better prepared to meet workplace expectations, increasing their confidence as they embark on careers. These less tangible traits fall under many titles: Soft skills, noncognitive skills, employability skills, character, social and emotional learning, 21st Century learning, and more. Each of these addresses similar and overlapping sets of strengths. These characteristics go a long way in supporting success in nearly any field, yet they are generally learnt on the job or around the dinner table rather than in the classroom. Your guidance and classroom activities can reinforce the importance of these skills and enable students to practice behaviors sought by employers.
Soft skills prepare students for employment
Part of the value of soft skills lies in their flexibility: they may be shaped well into adulthood, providing students with second (and third, and fourth) chances to succeed in school and work, even after their cognitive skills have been more firmly set. If schools were to foster students’ soft skill development actively, students would likely advance in their careers more quickly.
Methods to Strengthen Students’ SOFT SKILLS
Inspire curiosity and Make it okay to say “I don’t know” within a classroom and admit when you as a teacher don’t know an answer. Provide just a bit of information on something new to spark more profound interest. Introduce contradictions and ask students how we might understand them. Ask open-ended questions.
Ask students to reflect on challenges they’ve overcome on their path to achievement and share the rough track to success others have taken, as the obstacles, others have overcome often go unseen.
Encourage optimism and be mindful when giving negative feedback, redirect students towards positive behaviors, and help students to keep their focus toward the positive.
Provide real-world work experience to the students such as apprenticeships, job shadowing, and volunteer roles give students a chance to learn from mentors; see and emulate career-relevant skills including timeliness, self-presentation, social awareness, and cooperation; and help build networks to draw on for future roles.
Assign students to groups in which every student has a role (e.g., director, presenter, scribe). This requires each student to be independently responsible while also depending on team members to carry out their roles well. Teaching teamwork in this way is part of interventions like Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning, which serve to teach collaboration and written communication, this also helps them in becoming a good entrepreneur.
Tips for Teachers
Teachers: Add soft skill goals to lesson plans
Often when designing lessons, teachers are deliberate about identifying and communicating cognitive skill goals to students. We should be equally cautious with non-cognitive skills and consider incorporating student self-assessment into lessons. While a student can readily measure their cognitive gains in pre- and post-testing, they do not always take time to reflect on their work, be it successes or challenges, in specific non-cognitive skills.
Having students judge their grit and persistence or highlight an area where they exercised effective failure helps them understand that resilience is potentially more important than memorizing the state capitals. Deliberately adding reflection on soft-skill challenges and growth to lesson design allows students add goal-setting and self-reflection to their educational experience and helps prepare them for long-term success.
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