Research

Report: Schools Should Focus More on Soft Skills

A new study from Wainhouse Research finds that a large minority, 39 percent, of education stakeholders say their schools should be doing a better job of preparing students for the workforce.

Among more than 1,000 administrators, teachers, students and parents surveyed from North America and the United Kingdom, "many" said they "believe that schools are doing a decent job focusing on the 3 R's: reading, writing and mathematics, but are not doing as good a job focusing on other aspects of education essential to preparing learners for entering the workforce," according to the report.

Sixty percent of those surveyed said too little emphasis is placed on collaborations with other learners outside the classroom, while 46 and 40 percent, respectively, said there should be more emphasis on group achievement and working in teams.

The two soft skills respondents said were important most often were problem solving, at 96 percent, and the ability to collaborate, at 95 percent.

"A total of 58 percent of those surveyed believe schools are placing too much emphasis on teaching to mandated tests," according to a news release. "In order to change that, many responders say schools should improve professional development, offer new methods of assessment, provide greater leadership and adopt new approaches to teaching."

The full report, which was sponsored by Smart Technologies, is available at downloads01.smarttech.com.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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