Sunday, May 22, 2022 | Shawwal 20, 1443 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Future Skills Needs of learners

zeinbf@moe.om -


In view of global changes, enhancing students' skills has become important. Researches’ results show there are two significant tendencies in the world that pose a fundamental challenge to the educational system in the future: firstly: the world shifting from an industrial economy to a knowledge economy. Secondly: the new generation which is often known as the Millennials’ generation has different motives for learning. According to the International Delphi Survey result (Ehlers, 2019), future skills are the current issue of education due to the major changes in the job market, In addition, today’s learners’ perceptions are expanding, shifting, and developing. While many studies focus on the changes brought through digital technologies, they relate future skills directly to digital skills, which is only represent one portion of the future skills demands.


The future skills were introduced by the (Framework for 21st Century Learning), its aim to bridge the gap between the academic areas and real-life applications. The future skills model is divided into three dimensions: The first dimension is the subjective dimension of future skills profiles. It relates to an individuals’ subjective, personal abilities to learn, adapt, and develop to improve their opportunities to productively participate in the workforce of tomorrow. It contains seven future skill profiles. The second dimension is relating to an individual’s ability to act self-organized in relation to an object, a task, or a certain subject related issue. It suggests taking knowledge in several steps up the ladder, connecting it to motivation, values, and purpose. It’s not just a quest for knowledge but for dealing with knowledge effectively in different situations. The third future skill dimension is the social dimension, which relates to an individual’s ability to act self-organized in relation to its social environment, society, and organizational environment. It’s emphasizing the individual’s dual role as the curator of its social portfolio of membership in several organizational spheres and at the same time having the role of rethinking organizational spaces and creating organizational structures anew to make it future proof. It contains a set of five skill profiles (Ehlers, 2019, 3).


Mysirlaki (2018) points out that today’s learners were brought up in a highly- sophisticated media and computer-supported environment. Information and Communication Technologies provide them with tremendous opportunities to find volumes of information. Nevertheless, they have different needs than those of their parents or teachers, and these needs should be considered when designing educational frameworks for educating tomorrow’s workforce. Therefore, these students need to be constantly engaged with motivating educational activities, stimulating educational tools, and innovative teaching techniques. Moreover, digital games and virtual worlds are a big part of their lives. Thus, technologies like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, could be a way to meet learners’ needs for connectivity and co-learning spaces. On the other hand, these learners ought to cope with issues like economic, cultural, and political challenges that demand new skills to succeed in the 21st century. They need critical thinking and scientific literacy to search, process, and analyze information.


To conclude, how to hone learners' skills for the future? And what does today’s formal education prepare for tomorrow’s workers? Referring to the views of Darling& Hammond (2007) the most persuasive argument is that we do not know what the work of the future will be like, or how technology will influence health and financial issues. The challenge is to prepare students to think critically, “to engage in mental activity, or habits of mind, that use facts to plan, order and work toward an end”.


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