Literacy 2021. What is it?

By: Sofia Leitão Edu4WORD

In 1972, in the training manuals of the US armed forces, the designation of soft and hard skills to designate behavioural competencies.

The objective with the soft skills was to humanise the military, making them provide a service focused on the citizen, be more malleable and promote a more pleasant management. The hard skills, on the other hand, are referred to with the aim of training the military for specific tasks of their formal routine. In other words, soft skills group mental and emotional characteristics and hard skills correspond to technical and more logical abilities.

Since this date, every year we are confronted with an ever growing list of skills changing also the TOP 5 Soft Skills. For example, in 2015, the Top 5 Soft Skills were: Problem Solving, Teamwork, People Management, Critical Thinking and Negotiation, in 2020: Problem Solving remains in first place followed by Critical Thinking, followed by Creativity, People Management and Teamwork.

We find here a perfect dialectic !! And in 2021?

In 2021, LinkedIn released the following TOP 5: 

  1. Adaptability
  2. Collaboration
  3. Creativity
  4. Emotional Intelligence
  5. Persuasion

It is interesting to note that the Ability to Adapt appears now and is at the top, certainly because it was a skill that we all had to develop necessarily with the pandemic. In fact, if we analyze this TOP 5 we see that these skills are exactly the path we followed to pass / overcome the confinement. Right?

What about Literacy? What is it? What is the connection to this theme? Literacy, in our century is much more than Literacy. In fact, they are competencies, they are Soft Skills. It is not just knowing how to read, write and do maths, but using this knowledge to live in a community and work in an organisation.

Literacy begins at school, but is always accompanied by home and family, by our interest groups and, above all, by our lives, our experiences.

Opening a bank account, making a payment online, receiving a prescription by sms and filling it at the pharmacy on duty, understanding why Spaniards take a nap or why the USA has 1 dollar bills, knowing how to interpret discounts and taxes, writing a postcard and buying a postage stamp are simple and necessary tasks and so this is the literacy of our century and what we need to develop in young people in addition to traditional schooling. It is indispensable and fundamental for our quality of life, to be happy and successful.

Briefly, 2 tips: The best investment we can make, the best way to use our savings is in Education and Training. Soft Skills are the training and application of our knowledge in day to day situations so that we can adapt to the times.

Edu4WORD - Summer School 2021 - UK London Eye

Sofia Leitão Edu4WORD –

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