Every parent knows that social skills are an invaluable part of their child’s development, but many are unaware of how valuable they are to education as well. Social skills are how we interact with others and are crucial to individuals’ ability to reach their personal and academic goals. These are skills that help students collaborate with their peers, improve their coordination, and improve their performance in the classroom.
Good social skills can greatly increase a student’s desire to learn, which is a clear component of overall performance. In addition to wanting to learn, students with well-developed social skills find it easier to set goals for themselves and persist in following them through.
Studies have found that students who receive social skills instruction perform significantly better on standardized achievement testing. Perhaps even more importantly, these students generally possess a far better attitude about themselves, supporting a healthy development personally as well as academically.
Studies have found that social skills are an important predictor of children’s ability to learn to read. Students with poor social skills in early grades often struggle with literacy well into their academic years.
Unsurprisingly, students who learn proper social skills demonstrate far more positive behaviors and far fewer negative ones both in their personal lives and their academic ones. This begins in the lowest grades and remains true throughout life.
Well-developed social skills help to prevent problems such as alcohol and drug abuse, violent and bullying behaviors, and truancy. This results in greater academic success and an overall improvement in the student’s health and well-being.
Cooperating with peers is a necessary skill in order for students to work productively to overcome problems and develop solutions.
Whether it is conflict resolution or learning to understand others’ points of view, social skills help students work with their peers and motivate each other to reach goals.
It can be difficult for students to learn when they are only paying some attention or even none at all in their class. This is where active listening comes in. Active listening means consciously and intentionally listening to a speaker, such as a student’s teacher.
This can be quite difficult, particularly for students who struggle with social skills. However, by learning to actively listen, students can comprehend more of what they hear and respond more thoughtfully, greatly improving their ability to learn and their performance in the classroom.
Social skills are a key component of a student’s educational success. When students know how to communicate their ideas, listen to what others have to say, and cooperate with others, they have a far easier time achieving success in the classroom and in life. So, it is important to consider learning social skills an important prelude to all other forms of learning.
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