Opinion
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor

When Can Students Learn Life Skills?

February 19, 2013 1 min read

To the Editor:

I am struck by the recent Commentary by Mike Rose (“Giving Cognition a Bad Name,” Jan. 16, 2013) and the article “‘Soft Skills’ Seen as Key Element for Higher Ed.” (Nov. 14, 2012), both of which suggest that “soft skills,” such as getting along with people, dealing with setbacks, being able to communicate, persevering, problem-solving creatively, and being resourceful, are as important as mastering math and reading. More and more I see that these qualities of character factor into success in school and in life.

When I was on sabbatical, I saw an advertisement for a position as a town administrator in Vermont. Along with a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field, the job requirements for that position included excellent interpersonal and communication skills, creative problem-solving skills, and the ability to “meet deadlines while under stress without becoming ‘stressed out.’ ”

This is just one example of how such skills are necessary for life. How can we teach these skills while cramming for statewide assessments in math, language arts, and science? How can we teach these skills, which are developed over time in settings and through relationships, if we spend much of the school day focusing on test preparation?

Phyllis Gimbel

Associate Professor

Educational Leadership

Bridgewater State University

Bridgewater, Mass.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the February 20, 2013 edition of Education Week as When Can Students Learn Life Skills?

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Safe Return to Schools is Possible with Testing
We are edging closer to a nationwide return to in-person learning in the fall. However, vaccinations alone will not get us through this. Young children not being able to vaccinate, the spread of new and
Content provided by BD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Meeting the Moment: Accelerating Equitable Recovery and Transformative Change
Educators are deciding how best to re-establish routines such as everyday attendance, rebuild the relationships for resilient school communities, and center teaching and learning to consciously prioritize protecting the health and overall well-being of students
Content provided by Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Addressing Learning Loss: What Schools Need to Accelerate Reading Instruction in K-3
When K-3 students return to classrooms this fall, there will be huge gaps in foundational reading skills. Does your school or district need a plan to address learning loss and accelerate student growth? In this
Content provided by PDX Reading

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
College & Workforce Readiness Whitepaper
Prepare Students with Work-Based Learning
Download this toolkit to learn how your school or district can build community partnerships to provide students with access to real-world...
Content provided by Naviance
College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says College Enrollment Dip Hits Students of Color the Hardest
The pandemic led to a precipitous decline in enrollment for two-year schools, while four-year colleges and universities held steady.
3 min read
Conceptual image of blocks moving forward, and one moving backward.
Marchmeena29/iStock/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor How We Can Improve College-Completion Rates
Early- and middle-college high schools have the potential to improve college completion rates, says this letter to the editor.
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion There’s Insurance for Homes or Cars—Why Not College Degrees?
Rick Hess talks with Wade Eyerly, the CEO of Degree Insurance, about the company's plan to make investing in a college degree less risky.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty