‘Emotional soft skills’ more important success factor for future teachers - Saudi Gazette

‘Emotional soft skills’ more important success factor for future teachers

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Mohamed Khalifa Al Neaimi

ABU DHABI — A global survey of registered participants for Qudwa 2017, a Global Teachers’ Forum, revealed that teachers’ view soft skills, like the ability to understand individual needs of students, knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject matter, and strong communication, as the top priority skills for teachers to succeed in the future. Harder skills that focus on knowledge and understanding of technology were seen as less critical success factors.

Some 800 leading educators from 68 countries will convene at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi next month to discuss transformational, behavioral and technology trends in education under a core theme of Teaching for Tomorrow. The two-day event is organized under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

Qudwa 2017 conducted a survey that uncovers key insights about the core factors that will set teachers up for success as new technologies and hybrid teaching-models play increasingly prevalent roles in classrooms of the future.

One key finding showed that while 90.16% of teachers are using laptops or tablets in their classrooms and 78.24% are using social media for educational purposes, only 18.89% agreed that “an excellent command of current and future technologies (virtual reality, etc.)” was the most important factor for teachers to succeed in the classroom of the future. Almost half of the respondents, or 45.57%, however recognized “strong knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject matter” as the top success factor.

A similar question further validated this insight, revealing that 41.40% of participants recognized “good knowledge of technology (laptops, tablets) to increase student performance” as the least important factor to teacher success, whereas 66.01% agreed that “an ability to understand the individual needs of each student” was the most important teaching skill of the future.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Neaimi, Director of Education Affairs Office at the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi, said: “These are exactly the types of surprising insights we want to uncover at Qudwa. We need to better understand this perceived disconnect and make sure we are preparing teachers with the right balance of technical know-how that this digital age demands, and the emotional intelligence to make learning a truly personal experience for everyone.”

In line with the government’s aspirations, the UAE Ministry of Education and Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) are playing major supporting roles to better equip and empower teachers with the right skills that will ultimately elevate education across the nation in par with international standards. — SG


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