How Tall Is The Average Ten Year Old Indian Boy Teaching Soft Skills In Schools – Need Of The Hour

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Teaching Soft Skills In Schools – Need Of The Hour

The traditional teaching context is set outside the mainstream of life, outside the hustle and bustle of the local community. Some of the basic premises of ‘institution-based’ teaching are that it can best take place in a specially designed place, at a specific time, with experts specialized in teaching, using carefully selected material and following a predetermined path. The result of this perspective on learning is that the context created for teaching bears little resemblance to life in the rest of the world. In the real world, ignoring soft skills is the equivalent of sending kids into the woods with no camping gear—or at least nothing but a sleeping bag. There is a clear lack of soft skills among a large proportion of students; that the problem is rooted in our existing education system – which is primarily focused on imparting/acquiring ‘hard skills’, and needs to be addressed at the student and faculty level.

Over the past few years, awareness of the need for soft skills development has grown among academia and corporations. Indeed, many institutes have also introduced a soft skills component in their curricula. But these initiatives are the proverbial drop in the ocean. Most did not have the desired effect. There is a need to review the situation and develop strategies to overcome these problems without undermining the importance of hard skills. The plight of today’s children can be seen on subtle levels, in everyday problems that have not yet grown into major crises. Based on parent and teacher ratings, the children averaged poorly in these specific ways: withdrawal or social problems, anxiety and depression, attention or thinking problems, delinquent or aggressive. This is a new kind of toxicity that permeates and poisons the very experience of childhood. This malaise seems to be the universal price of modern life for children. No child, rich or poor, is exempt from these risks. These problems are universal and occur across ethnic, racial and income groups. Learning soft skills is not just learning manners, etiquette and English as it is commonly thought. Therefore, the indignant reflection of middle-class and rich parents/educators that their children did not need such education was completely missed.

In the absence of good support systems, external stresses have become so great that even strong families fall apart. The busyness, instability and inconsistency of everyday family life plagues all segments of our society, including the well-educated and well-to-do. If families no longer function effectively to set our children on a solid foundation for life, what do we do? As family life no longer offers more and more children a secure foothold in life, schools are left as the one place communities can turn to address children’s deficiencies in soft skills, emotional and social competence. This does not mean that schools alone can replace all social institutions that are too often collapsing or about to collapse. But since virtually every child goes to school (at least in the beginning), it offers a place to reach children with basic life lessons they would otherwise never receive. Soft skills literacy implies an extended mandate for schools, catching up with families who have failed to socialize children. This daunting task requires teachers to transcend their traditional mission.

As children change and grow, the preoccupation with the watch changes accordingly. To be most effective, soft skills and emotional literacy must be tied to the child’s development and repeated at different ages in ways that match the child’s changing understanding and challenges. The schedule is intertwined with related lines of development, especially cognition, on the one hand, and brain and biological maturation, on the other. A five-year-old, entering the wider social world of school, enters the world of social comparisons – he knows how to compare himself with others by certain qualities, whether it’s popularity, attractiveness or talent for skateboarding. From the sixth to the eleventh year, school is a difficult and decisive experience that will strongly influence the child’s indolence and beyond. A child’s sense of self-worth is largely dependent on his or her ability to succeed in school. A child who fails in school sets in motion self-defeating attitudes that can cloud prospects for a lifetime.

Puberty—because it is a time of extraordinary change in a child’s biology, thinking abilities, and brain function—is also a crucial time for lessons in soft skills and emotional literacy. Teenagers – most adolescents are ten to fifteen years old when they are exposed to sexuality, alcohol and drugs, smoking and other temptations. The transition to middle school or high school marks the end of childhood and is a major emotional challenge in itself. This very moment helps to strengthen the ability of boys and girls to build close relationships and manage crisis situations in friendship, and nurtures their self-confidence. Those who attended their literacy classes found the new pressures of peer politics, increased academic demands and temptations to smoke and use drugs to be less of a concern than their peers.

Soft skills and emotional literacy broaden our vision of the task of schools themselves, making them a more explicit agent of society to see that children learn these basic lessons for life – a return to the classical role of education. It also works best when the teaching in the school is aligned with what is happening in the children’s homes. In this way, children receive consistent messages about soft skills and emotional competence in all areas of life. In short, the optimal design of such programs is to start early, be age-appropriate, last through the end of the school year, and intertwine efforts at school, at home, and in the community. It increases the likelihood that what children have learned will not remain in school, but will be tested, practiced and sharpened in real life challenges. Another way this focus is reshaping schools is by building a campus culture that makes it a “caring community,” a place where students feel respected, cared for, and connected to their classmates, teachers, and the school itself.

It would be naive not to foresee the obstacles in introducing such programs in schools. Many parents may feel that the topic itself is too personal for schools to handle and that such matters are best left to the parents. Teachers may be reluctant to devote another part of the school day to topics that seem unrelated to academic fundamentals, some teachers may be too uncomfortable with the topics to teach, and all will need special training to do so. And some children will resist, especially to the extent that these lessons don’t align with their real concerns or feel like an intrusive invasion of their privacy. And then there’s the dilemma of keeping quality high and making sure slick education marketers aren’t selling poorly designed emotionally competent programs that repeat disasters like, say, poorly designed drug courses or teenage pregnancy.

Soft skills and emotional literacy improve academic achievement. This is not an isolated finding; it is repeated over and over in such studies. At a time when too many children lack the ability to manage their anxiety, to listen or focus, to control impulse, to feel responsible for their work or to care about their studies, anything that strengthens these skills will help their education. Soft skills and emotional literacy courses seem to help children better fulfill their roles in life, become better friends, students, sons and daughters – and more likely to be better husbands and wives, workers and bosses, parents and citizens in the future . A rising tide lifts all boats. It is not just children with problems, but all children who can benefit from these skills; these are the vaccine for life.

Today’s children have poor soft skills and emotional literacy because we as a society have not made the effort to ensure that every child is taught the basics of handling anger or resolving conflicts in a positive way. Nor did we bother to teach empathy, impulse control, or any other fundamentals of soft skills and emotional competence. By leaving these learning questions to children, we risk greatly missing the opportunity presented by the slow maturation of the brain to help children cultivate a healthy emotional repertoire. Despite the great interest in emotional literacy among some educators, these courses are still rare; most teachers, principals and parents simply don’t know they exist. The best models are mostly outside the educational mainstream, in a few private schools and a few hundred public schools. Shouldn’t we be teaching these most important life skills to every child—now more than ever?

And if not now, when?

Considering the fact that during the last decades the perceived importance of soft skills has increased significantly in society, it is of great importance that everyone acquires adequate skills beyond academic or technical knowledge. This is not particularly difficult. When a deficiency in a certain area of ​​soft skills is identified in oneself, there are numerous ways to correct such a deficiency. Teachers have a special responsibility in terms of soft skills, because during the schooling of students they have a great influence on the development of soft skills of their students. In addition to raising awareness of the importance of soft skills and encouraging students to improve their skills, lecturers should actively practice soft skills with their students. As a positive side effect, lessons will become more engaging, which in turn will increase student success rates. Soft skills fulfill an important role in shaping an individual’s personality by complementing his/her hard skills. However, overemphasizing this should not diminish the importance of soft skills, that hard skills, that is, professional knowledge in certain areas, should be relegated to secondary importance.

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