1st Edition

Soft Skills and Hard Values Meeting Education's 21st Century Challenges

    234 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    To help researchers, educators and policy makers understand and support the development of 21st-century skills in schools, this edited volume explores the various iterations of "soft" skills with a particular focus on their implications for values and evaluates ways in which "soft skills" and "hard" values can be integrated.

    Discourse throughout the 21st century has focused on the changing nature of work, the need for new skill sets and the disruptive effects of new technologies. This has been a neo-liberal discourse that subordinated personal and individual needs to the needs of a productive workforce delivering more and more efficiencies linked to higher and higher profits. The solution is often seen to be in the development of a school curriculum that focuses on work-ready skills for an increasingly complex work environment and its demands. Agencies such as OECD and UNESCO highlight the need to link the skills agenda with complementary values. Yet this process is at a very early stage. The proponents of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) for example highlight the impact of new technologies, not just on work but also on the social world. Yet they neglect to explore the values that would be needed in these new disruptive environments.

    This book takes up that issue and lays out the multiple value systems that are available for this new 21st century world. It is an important resource for policy makers, academics and teachers with responsibility for a new generation.

    PART I Soft skills and their stories
    1. Skills agendas in the 21st century: Understanding the stories
    Kerry J. Kennedy, Margarita Pavlova and John Chi-Kin Lee
    2. Green economies, green values: Story for the times
    Margarita Pavolva
    3. The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Humanoids, humanity and agency
    Kerry J. Kennedy
    PART II Values for a better world
    4. Future stories: Narrative, values and the management of radical uncertainty
    Helen Haste
    5. Global citizenship education: Searching for global cohesion
    Helen Hanna
    6. Inclusive education: Equal opportunities for all
    Ming-Tak Hue
    7. Life and values education: Beyond the self
    John Chi-Kin Lee, Ellen Yuefeng Zhang and Rowena Hoi Yee Liu
    8. Anti-racist values and intercultural skills
    Miron Bhowmik and Jan Gube
    9. Education for sustainable development: Experiences from a Tree Assessment for Life Education (TALE) Project in Hong Kong
    Alice Sin-Yin Chow, Chi-Yung Jim and John Chi-Kin Lee
    10. Media and information literacy: Evaluating misinformation and fake news in a complex world
    Alice Y.L. Lee
    11. Learning to live together: The hidden curriculum
    Liz Jackson
    PART III Integrating skills and values: Agenda for the future
    12. Constructing the future: Integrating values and skills to meet the challenges of a precarious world
    Kerry J. Kennedy, Margarita Pavlova and John Chi-Kin Lee


    Kerry J. Kennedy is Professor Emeritus and Advisor (Academic Development) at The Education University of Hong Kong. He is also Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Education and Curriculum Studies at the University of Johannesburg.

    Margarita Pavlova is Associate Professor in the Department of International Education, The Education University of Hong Kong and Director of the UNEVOC Centre (Hong Kong), a member of the global UNESCO-UNEVOC network.

    John Chi-Kin Lee is Vice President (Academic) and Provost, UNESCO Chair in Regional Education Development and Lifelong Learning, Chair Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Director of the Centre for Religious and Spirituality Education at The Education University of Hong Kong.