While reading an article on Time.com this morning, I suddenly had a troubling thought. What does it say about K-12 education if college seniors are not prepared to walk into a dream jobs? For me, this is a distressing question because I hope that we (early childhood educators) have built a foundation/base so that as students grow; they will gain the necessary skills needed to be productive adults. This does not seem to be the case for many young adults moving from the classroom to the workplace which begs the question why.
According to the article, college seniors do not lack academic preparedness. They have solid math and science knowledge (contrary to other reports). It seems the next generation of CEOs, doctors, lawyers, builders, and (I hope) teachers have knowledge in their disciple yet lack fundamental life or “soft” skills. If you are like me, you believe the best way to solve this dilemma is to incorporate social emotional learning (SEL) into the K-12 academic curriculum. I know there are some who believe this is fluffy, feel good education. I say it is essential and fundamentally sound education that is not only needed but required in order to help foster the life skills that these young adults desperately need. This is another call for balanced, whole-child pedagogy in schools. tlb