World Savvy article, “Soft Skills are NOT Soft” published in education magazine

"It is time to sunset the phrase soft skills. There is nothing soft about them."

World Savvy was recently published in the most recent issue of Childhood Education Innovations. The article, Soft Skills Are NOT Soft: Redefining Essential Skills for a Future-Ready Classroom points to the importance of an increasingly essential set of skills the current and future workforce must have to be successful in their careers and arguably life.

The article sites The Wall Street Journal‘s 2015 survey of nearly 900 executives: “92% said soft skills were equally important or more important than technical skills. Of particular note, 89% said they have a very or somewhat difficult time finding people with those requisite attributes.”

However, our current education system was designed to prepare students for careers of the Industrial Era. The world is rapidly changing; many of the jobs that our students will hold in the future have not yet been invented yet. Educators’ work can no longer be focused on delivering information, but rather on preparing students with the skills to successfully navigate and process this information.

“It is important for educators to teach their students to be not only critical thinkers, but also adaptable, resilient, and creative,” the article states. “For too long, skills such as empathy, creativity, and collaboration have been happy accidents in classrooms—byproducts of teachable moments that occurred during the delivery of content. It is time to center these skills with intention and urgency so that all young people have what they need to navigate a complex and interconnected world.”

As Dana Mortenson, World Savvy CEO and Co-founder, has said, “The focus here is not on content knowledge or test scores alone, but on the dispositions and skills that the future world will demand of us all, such as adaptability amidst significant change, cross-cultural communication, and collaboration, critical thinking about complex issues, perspective-taking, and empathy.”

The article goes on to highlight the work World Savvy did with a partner school during the 2021-2022 school year amidst a teacher strike. “To support all members of the community as they worked to understand these events, World Savvy created resources that were designed to draw on the essential skills we had been honing with teachers and students all year. Students used bingo cards that encouraged conversations with multiple stakeholders to ensure they were seeing this issue from multiple perspectives. As the strike ended and students returned to school, teachers implemented activities to rebuild community and create space to allow everyone to process their emotions. World Savvy schools used case studies organized by grade band, featuring extensive background information as well as resources and frameworks for analyzing conflict, building peace, and leading during complex times.”

World Savvy’s Comprehensive School Partnerships are designed to help schools make learning more relevant, inclusive and future-focused with a focus on embedding global competence – the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to navigate and succeed in today’s interconnected world. 

Childhood Education Innovations is a magazine-format publication that shares innovative ideas and practices for improving the education of children globally. The magazine is published for a global audience of educators and advocates working to create positive, sustainable futures for children and youth, with particular focus on improving education access and quality for marginalized populations. 

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