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Foundational Skills Vs Specialized Skills

  • 3m guru
  • May 14, 2021
  • 0 comment(s)

Children today grow up in a transforming world. Technology, migration, climate change etc. are reshaping society, forcing people across the globe to adapt to unexpected changes in their lives and work.

To keep up, children must be able to seize opportunities and confront challenges. They need the skills to become lifelong learners, to secure productive work, to make informed decisions and to positively engage in their communities.

There are two types of skills children need to succeed and thrive,

l  Foundational skills

l  Specialized skills

Foundational skills

Foundational skills are the fundamental skills that are essential for all children to learn, think and execute tasks effectively. Skills like concentration, memory, critical thinking, people skills, emotional quotient fall into this category.


Specialized skills


Specialized skills are those skills that are selectively acquired based on career demands and other life’s requirements. Such skills like coding, designing, music, etc are not universal and more of requirement based.


One can pick and choose from specialized skills to acquire based on market scenario, personal interests and goals for financial and career success. One can prefer one over the other. But foundational skills are not elective and every one of them is indispensable for success in career as well as personal life. They are fundamental in that they serve as a basis, the foundation for supporting additional skill and knowledge acquisition.


For instance, a child who has a keen interest and passion in design can solely focus on acquiring designing skills from an early age to shape herself into a successful architect or fashion designer. Skipping designing skills to acquire other non-related specialized skills like coding etc. may not have a profound impact on her success. But to acquire knowledge in her chosen area and master her designing skills and build a successful career out of it, she needs the help of all the foundational skills, be it cognitive or emotional.

Unfortunately our education system has been focusing mainly on acquiring subject knowledge, few specialized skills; while the foundational skills have been largely ignored.

The 3mguru team, after years of research has developed a list of basic and valued fundamental skills. For the most part, these skills are cross-disciplinary and can be employed in many pursuits, academic or otherwise. We recognize that these skills represent a baseline and that content knowledge and additional specialized skill development are important for anyone to be successful.

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