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The Pew Research Center recently asked a national sample of adults to select the skills most important for students “to get ahead in the world today.” Across the board, respondents said communication skills were most important, followed by reading, math, teamwork, writing and logic. Another Pew study, however, found that only 29 percent of Americans rated their country’s K-12 education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (known as STEM) as above average or the best in the world. Education Level: According to the majority (63%) of college-educated respondents, science skills were most important, compared to 51% of those with a high school education or less. Age Group: Sixty-four percent of adults ages 50 and older say science skills are important to get ahead, compared with just over half (54%) of younger adults.
Gender: While both men and women placed a very high value on reading skills (83% and 88 % respectively) and communication skills (88% and 92%), there was a little more of a divide over science and math skills. The irony with this article’s premise is that the authoritative school system is naturally antithetical to healthy, honest, and intellectual communication. Although more than half said science was important, it still ranked toward the low end of the list, followed by athletics, music and art at the bottom.
Some 81% of college grads said that writing skills were most important, compared with 70% among those with a high school degree or less.
A similar gap exists between older and younger adults when it comes to math skills (83% vs. Democrats and independents were more likely than Republicans to hold science skills up as most important.
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Published at: Institute Of Leadership Development