Should We Teach "Soft" Skills?

A 21st-century education must surely look different. We must address new knowledge (technology & digital media) and new challenges (globalization & community fragmentation).

A 21st-century education must surely look different from that of 30 years ago, says Estelle Morris, but which subjects are more likely to engage a generation used to multi­media and personalised communication? "We are still wedded to the traditional hierarchy of subjects, and it colors all our debates. Economists may tell us that the creative industries are the fastest growing sector; employers may talk about needing graduates with 'soft' skills; we all like to support the importance of vocational subjects or work experience, but how much do we really rate the subjects that stand the best chance of teaching these skills?"

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