The Soft Skills That Children Can Learn Through Travel
By Jane Sandwood, Freelance Writer
A study by Google last year revealed that soft skills are the most important factor in the workplace, rather than academic or vocational qualifications. This is where exploring the world outside the classroom can benefit children’s learning. Just as play can equip kids with invaluable life skills, travel can help them develop a whole host of personal attributes that will help them to succeed in the working world and beyond.
Something that all employers will seek in staff, regardless of their role, is a sense of responsibility. Not only does this mean taking accountability for your actions but also behaving in a mature manner. For children, knowing how to behave responsibly can start with learning about boundaries and keeping yourself and others safe. Travelling presents plenty of opportunities to do so, whether it be learning about water safety when journeying on the sea or visiting landmarks built on unpredictable terrain. Teachers and parents of children on group excursions can foster responsibility in kids by role-modeling behavior, communicating and giving age-appropriate choices. Encouraging children to value responsibility from a young age will give them a good chance of being responsible as an adult. This, in turn, will make it more likely for them to be trusted to make sensible decisions in the workplace.
Communication and interpersonal skills
When traveling, particularly abroad or to various places, children are very likely to meet people of different nationalities, with contrasting personalities and backgrounds. This encourages them to learn how to communicate effectively with a range of people, something that is particularly important in any role. Being able to connect with others in a meaningful way will not only have a positive impact on a child’s character – as well as those around them – but it will also stand them in good stead when it comes to working.
Being able to adapt well to different situations in the workplace is a key skill prioritized by almost half of employers. Travelling is sure to place children in unfamiliar scenarios, helping them learn how to respond appropriately to new or unexpected situations. The latter might include having to become accustomed to the traditions of a country you are visiting, or simply sharing a dormitory with classmates on a school trip. What matters is the ability to adjust your behavior or expectations in order to accommodate others or to do a task effectively.
Travel can be a valuable teaching tool
Travel can be beneficial in a number of ways, but one of the most important of these is its educational potential when it comes to children. Whether it be exposing them to different cultures or tasking them with navigating their own way from one place to another, the variety of life skills children can develop by traveling is significant. These are the types of skills that will help prepare them for life as an adult.
Teach & Kids Learn (TKL) offers teachers and schools several self-paced online courses to consider in helping educators in providing support in the development of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Skills.