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perception and practices of integrating soft skills and positivity training in teacher education program

Author: 
Dr. Anjum Bano Kazimi, Abdul Karim Suhag, Syed Tanweer Ahmed, Maryam Hussain and Raja Sohail Ahmed Larik
Subject Area: 
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Abstract: 

Development of soft skills is the most demanding area of education worldwide. Millennium development goals also emphasized on developing both hard as well as soft skills in order to increase human potentials. Teacher Education training programs curriculum, teaching practices and teachers standards all indicate the importance of hard skills for a professional teacher, but soft skills which gives essence to professionalism and which is the essential part of good teaching as indicated by Shaheen, Zhang, (2012) is not getting its due importance, although soft skills are directly linked with teachers and teaching success- Jessy John (2009). These skills cannot be read out from a book, these skills are embedded in a teacher’s behavior and his/her practice will reflect them in students behavior. Soft Skills like Personal habits, questioning skill, good communication skills, problem solving skills, critical thinking, team building, networking, emotional and cultural sensitivity, strong work ethic, positive attitude, time management or teacher’s movement; are those skills that are needed in today’s educational environment. Today’s teacher’s curriculum is focusing more on people than on processes. Soft skills play a very important role in educational as well as in professional successful careers. Global and national demands of professional abilities are changing very fast. As Sarah Andreas (2018) says, scenario is totally changed. A decade ago high academic records with work experience were in demand, while now only hard skills are not sufficient for enhancement of career, persons with soft skills, resources, self-directed, having good communication skills are in demand. This study aims to identify perception of educational experts related to existing place, importance and process of enhancing soft skills and positivity in teacher educators through professional teacher’s training program. Qualitative Data was collected through in-depth interviews from eight educationists on criteria of more than twelve years working experience in the related field. Thedata derived from interviews was then analyzed to deduct themes. Results of the study revealed that all experts are strongly in favor of including soft skills as essential components of teachers training programs, and it should not be taken as hidden curriculum. They identified critical thinking, communication skills, team building, time management, positive attitude and body movement as essential components of teacher’s training which should be taught through micro teaching. Positivity toward work is linked with success, nonprofessional attitude of teacher’s trainers and absence of microteaching from teaching practices, lack of supervision and insufficient period of training are the affecting factors. Rethinking of teaching process and teaching subjects can minimize the problems and improve the quality of teachers training programs.

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