Meta Skills for School Children

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For a while, jobs demanded hard and soft skills. Hard skills include those which can be learnt to do a job like type writing, language etc , and are measurable. Soft skills include those which are non-quantifiable, but are necessary, like, communication, team work etc.

Now, the 21st century is challenging and more dynamic. Credits to the rapid technological advancements and digitalization, the jobs prevailing now may not be in existence after a decade. Functional expertise is changing rapidly and a constant learning is necessary to stay on top and is mandatory to move beyond subject matter and equally focus on third type of skills “Meta Skills”.

 Meta skills are the types of skills that enable one to learn, develop and master any new skill faster. Other skills are temporary for those can be learned, forgotten or be refreshed. But, Meta Skills once developed, becomes permanent part of us, helping in achieving things.

Most sought Meta Skills: Logical Reasoning, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

These are the backbone of many careers like research, medicine, software engineering, investment banking, journalism, law, politics and many. The top company job interviews have a good mix of puzzles, logical reasoning, critical thinking, conundrums and problem solving tasks. Google, in a next level, asks “Are you smart enough to Work at Google ?”

There are many ways these skills can be acquired. Predominantly from books, courses, games and practice. Read as much as you can on the topic. There are plenty of books to guide . To name a few, Critical Thinking: A Beginner’s Guide by Sharon Kaye, Bad Choices: How Algorithms Can Help You Think Smarter and Live Happier by Ali Almossaw …

Properly structured courses can provide clear roadmap for learning. Students can do this self-paced or under an expert guidance. Generally, success ratio is higher in good instructor led classes owing to that extra motivation that the students get .

Being mentioned the generic ways of acquiring these skills, delivering them to K-12 children has to be more specific, in a way connectable with them. Puzzles and games are a perfect fit. Specially designed computational thinking enriched puzzles and games not only provide opportunities for play, also pose open ended questions and help children to develop hypothesis. Allow them to think in new and different ways. Not specific to any programming language, rather algorithmic thinking focused coding programs also add to it by allowing them to play around, err, debug and evolve.  

The right age to cultivate these Meta Skills is from primary classes, importantly in fun filled ways with problem solving components thereby improving their computational thinking abilities.

Finally, from Raymond Smullyan’s :

“There are two errors in this sentence.”

Is the above statement True or False?

Leaving it to your Meta skill abilities to answer!

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