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Challenges in the integration of soft skills in teaching technical courses: Lecturers’ perspectives

Idrus, Hairuzila and M. D, Hazadiah and Abdullah, Normah (2009) Challenges in the integration of soft skills in teaching technical courses: Lecturers’ perspectives. [Citation Index Journal]

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Abstract

In order to transform Malaysia into a fully developed nation, institutions of higher learning need to play a vital role in generating the necessary human capital with first-class mentality (National Higher Education Action Plan 2007 – 2010). The ministry of higher education has taken some steps to ensure that soft skills be addressed in the curriculum because soft skills are among the essential skills needed by graduates in order to be employable in this global era. This is further supported by Crosbie (2005) when he states that research suggests that soft skills are just as a good indicator of job performances as traditional job qualifications or hard skills. The issues of unemployment among graduates are associated with the notion that graduates have not adequately acquired employability skills and soft skills during their studies at the university. In Malaysia many employers have often complained that most Malaysian graduates lack the necessary soft skills vital for work. This has risen concerned by many parties especially the ministry, which has lead to the development of the Framework on Incorporating Soft Skills in Teaching and Learning in Malaysian Higher Education Institutions. It is one of the efforts undertaken to enhance the employability of university graduates through the inculcation of soft skills in higher learning education. Malaysian universities have to produce students of certain attributes to make them relevant in the job market. Consequently, it is the job of the educators to assist the students to acquire the skills. For technically based occupation like engineering, soft skills are also very important for the engineers to apply their technical knowledge at work effectively. Engineering is one of the fields of studies that is important for the development of the country. Thus, this study focuses on the engineering students. This paper discusses the challenges faced by the lecturers at a private university in trying to integrate soft skills in their teaching of technical courses. Data derived from the open ended question and the interview was then analyzed according to three main themes which are students’ attitude in the classroom, limited time to cover syllabus and large number of students in the classroom. Pedagogical implications of the findings are discussed.

Item Type:Citation Index Journal
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Departments / MOR / COE:Departments > Management & Humanities
ID Code:3358
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email hairuzi@petronas.com.my
Deposited On:02 Aug 2011 04:04
Last Modified:19 Jan 2017 08:25

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