"We are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist,
Using technologies that haven't been invented,
In order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet."
- Karl Fisch, "Did You Know"
When we grew up, the employment rate was fairly stable and our greatest concern was being able to perform just a bit better than a few other "local" job applicants in order to get a "good" job.
Today's children, however, are facing new challenges. For one, they will no longer be competing with people in our hometowns for jobs; they will be competing with people all over the globe! Secondly, companies are down-sizing. For better or worse, technology is allowing companies to do more with less.
In order to give our children a competitive advantage in this Information Age and global economy, we must teach them how to learning strategically. In other words, "study skills." Learning study skills will allow them to organize themselves, process new information efficiently, make critical decisions about that information, and access it at a later time.
Study skills are often grouped with "soft skills;" skills that go well beyond technical knowledge, but navigate students through problem-solving, critical thinking, and effective communication with others. Most schools do not teach these skills, because the national and state standards that drive their funding are focused almost entirely on content. Very little focus falls on learning or processing skills.
However, a study done by the Stanford Research Institute and Carnegie Melon Foundation found that 75 percent of long-term career success depends on soft skills and only 25 percent on technical knowledge.
Take a moment to do an internet search on "soft skills." You will find that the majority of the information comes from countries outside of the U.S. Other nations are educating their students in the most significant skills far better than we are!
The only way to ensure your child has every advantage to compete in our global economy is to provide access to these "soft skills." A great place to start is with the time-efficient and effective study skills.
In April, 2009, Ohio State University published a study confirming the dramatic impact study skills can have on college graduation rates. According to the study:
45% = the increased likelihood that struggling high school students will graduate from college if they take a study skills class.
600% = the increased likelihood that average high school students will graduate from college if they take a study skills class.
Imagine the impact study skills could have on students…if they could only learn them
earlier than college?
Study skills are the skills:
• required to be an independent learner.
• that build confidence.
• that develop efficiency.
• that enable students to be proactive,
make good decisions, and think critically.
• that improve performance to prepare our
students for high-stakes tests and the
globally competitive job market of the
Not only can we give children a competitive advantage for the future, they can have more peaceful homework evenings, earn better grades (in less time), and develop confidence. Imagine how much money can be saved in college expenses when students are able to pass classes on the first attempt!
Study skills can give our students countless advantages! These are skills that will truly serve them for life!