6 soft skills students need and how to teach them

straightforward and can be challenging. We selected 6 soft skills that students need and how to teach them in school. how to teach them.

6 soft skills students need and how to teach them
6 soft skills students need and how to teach them

We bring you 6 soft skills that can be taught, measured and developed through play and other practices. Emotional skills are essential for success in life. However, teaching and evaluating them in a formal way is often not that straightforward and can be challenging. We selected 6 soft skills that students need and how to teach them in school. how to teach them.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills, 21st century skills, soft skills or social and emotional learning skills. Regardless of how you choose to call them, they are defined as the qualities that, independent of the knowledge acquired, are desirable for certain jobs, such as having a flexible and positive attitude, common sense and handling people.

That is, they are a combination of social and communication skills, personality traits, attitudes, and social and emotional intelligence, which empower people to move around their environment, work alongside others, and perform well.

Generally, these skills are learned naturally by children by relating to other people. And contrary to popular belief, if a person does not have any of these soft skills or failed to acquire them, they can be trained to develop them.

In addition, soft skills make that difference in the workplace, since it is those skills, habits and behaviors that distinguish two people who, for example, have studied the same thing and obtained the same academic results, but at the time of undertaking a project, solve a conflict or interact with others, are more successful.

The future of soft skills

The automation that will occur in jobs in the next decade, the global workforce will undergo a dramatic change. It follows from this same study that the need for basic cognitive skills will decrease by 15%, while skills that cannot be easily replaced by computers will be in high demand. These skills are social and emotional skills such as leadership, empathy, creativity or conflict resolution. So these are the skills we should be teaching in schools if we want to prepare students for the jobs of the future

But there are often difficulties in teaching and evaluating these fundamental skills in schools because they are not covered in the academic curriculum. Games are a suitable platform for students to learn basic skills for development in society. Many of the attributes that they will need to excel in school or in the workforce (teamwork, problem solving, etc.) correlate with success in the gaming world and beyond.

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Here are six soft skills that students need and what tools can be used in the classroom to develop them.

1 leadership

Skills that can change people's lives. It must be clear that whoever leads is not only who manages things, but what a leader does is inspire, motivate and empower. True leaders see the best in people and teach them to harness their potential in everything they do. Students have to go from the attitude "I can do it" to "we can do it", since it makes everyone better.

How to do it:

Dynamics such as role-playing games or the œblind leader help students to face possible situations that may arise in life. In the first case, it is about distributing different roles among the participants (such as the pessimist, the expert, the proactive) and letting them interact representing each character. After the role play, it is important to analyze the mistakes and successes that have been made during the role-playing game and repeat the simulation using these suggestions.

In the second case, they are divided into two groups: one of them will be blindfolded and the other will not. The latter will be the leaders who will guide the blind through different exercises (such as filling glasses of water, for example). The game is used to analyze leadership styles, giving and receiving orders, and resistance or acceptance of command.

  1. Teamwork

Why is it so difficult to develop teamwork? Taking into account that it is a circumstance that we will have to go through both in school and in university and in most of our working lives.

Speaking of "teamwork" refers to negotiation, division of tasks and conflict resolution. At the same time, it leads to the satisfaction of sharing goals and developing a sense of group belonging. In today's society that encourages competitiveness and individualism, teamwork represents a great challenge that must be learned in the classroom.

How to do it:

  • One of the best known dynamics to promote cooperative learning is the Puzzle Technique. Students are divided into groups of approximately five or six. Each group is assigned content to study, and each student must become an expert on one aspect of that topic. Then, each one is responsible for teaching the others their researched topic and together they must create a document.
  • For its part, the Tandem Technique is ideal for students to develop their negotiation skills. A slogan is given and each student must find a solution to a problem. Then, in groups of two people, the ideas should be shared and an agreement reached on the solution to be taken.
  • And in the Roulette Technique the goal is that anyone can become a representative of the group. Once in a group, the students are asked to number themselves and a topic is given to investigate. Once the work is finished, a number is drawn and the chosen one will become the representative of the group. Because everyone must be aware of what is being investigated, with this technique all group participants must be integrated into the work.

  1. Communication

Another soft skill that students need to develop in school is communication. Having communication skills means better relationships, greater empathy towards the other and, at the same time, more productivity in tasks.

How to do it:

  • With active listening, trying to listen carefully to the student, and asking questions as necessary, to understand the other person's message and emotions.
  • Choosing the best time and place to communicate is important. It is advisable to find a suitable place, which is quiet and, for example after an argument, the feelings are not on the surface.
  • Use open questions to show our students that we are really interested in what they are telling us.
  • Foster empathy, that is, the ability to understand, be aware, sensitive and indirectly experience the feelings, thoughts and experiences of another.

  1. Troubleshooting

When it comes to the soft skills students need for lifelong learning, this is one of the most important.

Due to this fact, students will be solving future problems that we cannot even imagine yet. They will face challenges that require skills to define a problem, design a suitable solution, and put it into practice.

How to do it:

  • Promoting creativity and the ability to produce and develop original works, theories, techniques or thoughts.
  • Also developing critical thinking, that is, the process of conceptualizing, analyzing and synthesizing information in an objective way to reach a conclusion or form a judgment.
  • One idea may be to carry out a "Diary of emotions", as a way to help them work through the conflicts that arise on a day-to-day basis. A notebook where students identify and turn over the daily conflicts with which they have to deal and, from being able to identify them, , be ready to offer them the tools to be ready to resolve them.

  1. Time management

There are only 24 hours in each day and what you do with that time makes a difference. That is why it is important from school age to teach how to manage study time with leisure time. Although in primary and secondary school, students do not realize the importance of time management, it is key in the first years of university when the study time increases and they want to have more free time and socialization.

How to do it:

A very simple way to start organizing your times is to use the daily agenda. It can be either the classic paper diary or an online version, or both. This way they will learn to manage time wisely and get the most out of each day.

Also goal setting. The first part of the process is to identify what you want to achieve, and then methodically plan the steps that can be taken, taking time into account, to achieve this goal.

  1. Organizational skills

In addition to knowing how to manage time, staying organized saves valuable time so you can get everything done that needs to be done. As the phrase œA place for everything and everything in its place says, it is good to convey that you have to keep all study materials (calculator, agenda, books, notebooks, laptop, etc.) in a convenient place.

How to do it:

  • Categorize, label, and order to keep things neat and clean.
  • Represent the day visually.
  • Break large projects into small steps.
  • Organize to-do lists in logical order.
  • Another option may be to color-code the tasks.

It makes them more complete human beings who can thrive in a variety of situations and cultivate rich and rewarding relationships with others.

What other soft skills that students need do you think can be taught in classrooms?