Do you remember anything else you learned in school besides math, science, history, and English? While these subjects are necessary for establishing a solid academic foundation, critical skills that would aid in applying knowledge, values, skills, and personality development, as well as prepare us for the real world, are missing from the school curriculum.
Technology has changed the world, and skilled professionals are in high demand. Employers look for candidates with both academic knowledge and soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
They should integrate academics and life skills in school curricula to better prepare students for the workforce by providing them with skills in high demand by employers.
Here are five skills not taught in school but essential for our growth and success.
1. Emotional Intelligence: Emotional intelligence (EI), the ability to identify and manage one’s emotions and the emotions of others, is an essential skill for building healthy relationships and successful careers. However, it is not taught in most schools. In fact, many people are not even aware of emotional intelligence.
A study found that only 30% of students in the United States are taught social-emotional learning skills. However, there is a growing awareness of the importance of EQ, and some schools are starting to incorporate it into their curriculum.
Emotional intelligence involves being aware of your own emotions and the emotions of others, regulating your emotions, and using emotions to guide your thinking and actions. It also involves empathy, which is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. People with high EI are more likely to be successful in their personal and professional lives.
2. Critical Thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information and make reasoned judgments. It involves questioning assumptions, evaluating evidence, and considering different perspectives. Critical thinking is essential for problem-solving, decision-making, and innovation.
A survey conducted by the Reboot Foundation, which is devoted to elevating critical thinking, revealed that 55 percent of teachers believed that the emphasis on standardized testing had increased the level of difficulty in incorporating critical thinking instruction in their classrooms.
3. Creativity: Creativity is developing original ideas and solutions. It involves thinking outside the box, risk-taking, and experimenting. It is essential for innovation, entrepreneurship, and personal fulfillment.
Global analytics and advice firm Gallup’s new Creativity in Learning report shows that teachers who frequently assign creative learning activities and make transformative use of technology are more likely than other teachers to say their students exhibit valuable cognitive traits.
Creativity is a multifaceted quality that encompasses both innate talent and learned skills. By fostering creativity in students, we can equip them with the tools to effect meaningful change and become agents of innovation.
4. Financial Literacy: Financial literacy, the ability to manage your money effectively, is essential for everyone, regardless of income level. It involves understanding how to create a budget, save money, invest, and manage debt. It can help you achieve your financial goals and avoid financial problems.
However, many schools do not teach financial literacy. People often overlook the fact that their financial situation can impact various aspects of their life, positively or negatively. Research has established a correlation between financial instability and mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.
5. Communication Skills: Communication involves speaking, listening, and writing. Good communication skills are essential for success in almost every field, from business to medicine to education. If you lack communication skills, you will be unable to convey information clearly and effectively.
According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, communication skills consistently rank as the most important attribute for job seekers. Recruiters have noted that many applicants possess the necessary technical expertise and impressive academic records, but they often fall short in their ability to communicate effectively.
Schools play an important role in preparing students for success in life, but some critical skills are not taught in most schools. By incorporating these skills into the curriculum, we can better prepare students for the challenges they will face in their personal and professional lives.
There has been a positive shift as some schools have recognized the importance of life skills and have begun to incorporate them into their curriculum. Thus far, so good. Much work remains to be done. Parents, educators, and policymakers must work together to ensure these skills are taught to all students.
We must help children develop these skills if we want them to thrive in life.
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