education

Soft skills more crucial than hard skills for future teachers, Qudwa global survey reveals

Behavioural, technology trends in education to be discussed

Staff Report
14:46 September 13, 2017

Abu Dhabi: Some 800 leading educators from 68 countries will convene in Abu Dhabi next month to discuss transformational, behavioural and technology trends in education under a core theme of Teaching for Tomorrow.

The two-day event is being organised under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Qudwa 2017, a Global Teachers’ Forum, 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.

A global survey of registered participants for this years’ forum revealed that teachers view soft skills, such as 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.

One key finding showed that while 90.16 per cent of teachers are using laptops or tablets in their classrooms and 78.24 per cent are using social media for educational purposes, only 18.89 per cent 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 per cent, however, recognised “strong knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject matter” as the top success factor.

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

Mohammad Khalifa Al Nuaimi, director of Education Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, remarked: “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,” he said.

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 on a par with international standards.