Essential Skills for the Modern Student

After the cropping up of a few articles on the skills essential for today’s students, we decided to come up with our own list. Here it is:

  1. Critical Thinking: Traditionally traced to Socrates way back in Ancient Greece, critical thinking involves the process of conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, and synthesizing learned information in order to produce a judgment or course of action. It is essentially reasoning and reflecting, and can include problem-solving. Even though we can’t predict what types of jobs today’s students will have, this is a basic skill that can be applied to anything and everything.
  2. Initiative: This of course refers to the ability to start an action without being asked to do so. This can come in the form of studying outside of the classroom, beginning personal projects, or even be as simple as cultivating good personal and educational relationships with others in their learning environment. And as we said before, without a crystal ball, a lot of preparation for the work force will rely on a student’s ability to take the initiative.
  3. Curiosity: Curiosity as a skill might sound a bit odd. But rather than thinking of it as an inherent quality some people have and others don’t, it’s time to start fostering it in students. Curiosity in the classroom will lead to curiosity outside of the classroom and help create imaginative, always-learning students.
  4. Adaptability: Again, we face an unknowable future, but a student who can easily adapt to any situation will be able to conquer almost any obstacle.
  5. Effective communication: This one extends to almost any aspect of life. Being able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing is a skill valued in any occupation. And those who can do so will also be prepared to function as effective citizens of the world. (This could also branch out into empathy and collaboration).

What do you think of our list? Would you add anything? Maybe take away one of them?