Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Life Skills vs Self Awareness

The modern day education system is very complex. 

There are very few areas where there is strong consensus among different groups of people. The most  contentious issue that has come up in recent times is : 'What should teachers teach?' 

In an extremely competitive world where education is a big differentiator between people, what we teach our children becomes even more important. Everyone agrees that our children need to have exposure to different things happening in the world. Everyone choose relevant content to teach and that's a slightly settled topic among educators. 

The major bone of contention comes when educators have to make a choice between real life skills and self awareness skills. 

Real life skills are like writing stories, coding, debating, drawing and such. Self awareness skills are having the ability to understand our strengths and areas of development. It also includes skills which make us more aware about our community. 

Now ideally, you would want to give both these skills to our children but given the scarcity of resources, sometimes we might have to make a difficult choice and we might have to choose one of them. 

So what would you choose? 

On the one hand you have real life skills which make you more employable. Something that every employer looks for in a potential employee. They are always specific and also keep changing with the times. For eg, there was a time when knowing how to use a computer would give you a leg up on your competitors when there was a job opening. We can compare it to say, coding, in our current time as something similar to that. It would be very difficult to choose not to teach our children skills like these. 

On the other hand we have self awareness skills. They are skills which would make us reflect on our actions and our behavior and make us more aware about ourself and our actions. These are things which have stood the test of time. A self aware person was appreciated a decade ago and we can safely predict that this person will be appreciated even in the next decade. 

I agree that self awareness is also a big life skill but it is not something which will directly help you get a job and hence aid your survival. It just means a company making software would love to have an employee who is very self aware but they would definitely want the employee to know a computer language that's essential for their work. Self awareness is currently a good to have and not a must have for most companies. 

So we can see that there are clear benefits of both life skills and self awareness skills. In most cases we would like to focus on both but in case there is need to make a choice, it will depend on the teacher. 

A good question that can help the teacher decide is "What do my students need?"

It goes back to the context. 

I believe that if there is an urgent need to know skills for survival, then life skills should be taught but if the student doesn't need to worry about survival for a few years, then self awareness skills should be taught first and then the focus should shift on life skills. Again, that's just my opinion. 

Teachers will always have the last say and I believe that they can make it that choice for the students after consulting the parents of the students. 

Is there a way do teach the children self awareness and life skills? 

Absolutely. 

But the question is if you had to choose, what would you choose? 









3 comments:

  1. While searching online, I found your post very interesting as you have shared some good things which relate to education and employment. Thanks and keep sharing such a great info.
    Regards,
    Business Diploma

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  2. Great one. I always love to hear people talking on education and career development. Everyone should join such a platform like this to support our education system. Just take a look on benefits of studying abroad.
    Thank you.

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  3. Studying from an advanced school that was accredited from International Accreditation Organization I would like to tell that self awareness is very important to gain long term success.

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