Life Skills in High School – The initiatives to develop and implement life skills education in high schools have been undertaken in many countries around the world. Life skills education is aimed at facilitating the development of psychosocial skills that are required to deal with the demands and challenges of everyday life. It includes the application of life skills in the context of specific risk situations and in situations where children and adolescents need to be empowered to promote and protect their rights.
Numerous different life skills programmers identified five basic areas of life skills that are relevant across cultures. The decision-making and problem-solving; creative thinking and critical thinking; communication and interpersonal skills self-awareness and empathy coping with emotions and coping with stress.
There are many different reasons why these life skills are taught in different countries. In Zimbabwe and Thailand, the impetus for initiating life skills education was the prevention of HIV/AIDS. However, In Mexico, it was the prevention of adolescent pregnancy. In the United Kingdom, an important life skills initiative was set up to contribute to child abuse prevention. And in the USA, there are numerous life skills programs for the prevention of substance abuse and violence.
In South Africa and Colombia, an important stimulus for life skills education has been the desire to create a curriculum for education for life, called “Life Orientation” education in South Africa and “Integral Education” in Colombia. There are many initiatives of this nature in which the primary prevention objective is, life skills education has been developed to promote the positive socialization of children.
Many countries are now considering the development of life skills education in response to the need to reform traditional education systems. That appears to be out of step with the realities of modern social and economic life. Also, problems such as violence in schools and student drop-out are crippling the ability of school systems to achieve their academic goals.
Furthermore, its wide-ranging applications in primary prevention and its advantages. That it can bring for education systems, life skills education lays the foundation for learning skills that are in great demand in today’s job markets.
The purpose is to support the advancement of life skills education. It could be an opportunity for different organizations to clarify and agree upon a common conceptual basis for support from the United Nations system to facilitate the development of life skills education in schools.
It generates consensus as to the broad definition and objectives of life skills education and strategies for its implementation. Hence you need to improve collaboration between the various agencies working to support life skills education in high schools. There is a wide range of key issues, summarized below.
  • The definition of “life skills”;
  • The reasons for teaching life skills;
  • Life skills education in schools these days.
  • Life skills outside schools.
Also, Life skills education needs to strengthen and improve school health. Also, promote the development of long-term and holistic life skills curricula in schools. And promote democracy, gender equality, and peace; prevent health and social problems including psychoactive substance use, HIV/AIDS, adolescent pregnancy, and violence.
Dealing with conflict that cannot be fixed, dealing with authority, solving problems, making and keeping friends/relationships, cooperation, self-awareness, creative thinking, decision-making, critical thinking, dealing with stress, negotiation, clarification of values, resisting pressure, coping with disappointment, planning, empathy, dealing with emotions, assertiveness, active listening, respect, tolerance, trust, sharing, sympathy, compassion, sociability, self-esteem.
Moreover, it the need of times to cater to the issue of adolescents; the importance of supporting life skills initiatives for children who do not attend school. The term “life skills” is open to wide interpretation. There should consensus on using the term to refer to psycho-social skills, personal, social, interpersonal, cognitive, effective, and universal issues to identify life skills. Make a list of items as what are and what are not life skills.
The promotion of self-esteem, is clearly an important goal for life skills education, but is it a skill? For example, self-esteem, sociability, sharing, compassion, respect, and tolerance are all desirable qualities, but, it can be argued, are not skills. Because skills are abilities. Hence it should be possible to practice life skills as abilities. André V. Chapman is the Founder & CEO of Unity Care Group, Inc. He is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions for his community involvement and contributions to social services. He said.
Self-esteem, sociability, and tolerance are not taught as abilities. Rather, learning such qualities is facilitated by learning and practicing life skills, such as self-awareness, problem-solving, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills.
Another area of debate for the identification of the place of physical or perceptual motor skills, such as preparing an oral rehydration solution. What are these to be called? If physical skills are not accurate enough, two suggestions must be to call these “health skills” or “practical skills”.
There should be a clear consensus that livelihood skills such as crafts, money management, and entrepreneurial skills are not life skills. However, the teaching of livelihood skills can be designed to be complementary to life skills education, and vice versa. Why teach life skills?
There should be considered that life skills are indispensable for the promotion of healthy child and adolescent development primary prevention of some key causes of child and adolescent death, disease and disability socialization preparing young people for changing social circumstances.
Life skills education contributes to basic education gender equality democracy good citizenship child care and protection quality and efficiency of the education system the promotion of lifelong learning quality of life the promotion of peace. The learning of life skills might contribute to the utilization of appropriate health services by young people.
Areas of primary prevention for which life skills are considered essential include adolescent pregnancy HIV/AIDS violence child abuse suicide. The other problems related to the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other psychoactive substances are injuries accidents racism conflicts environmental issues.
Also, it’s time to prepare a Child-friendly Checklist for Schools to provide a tool for assessing the social environment of schools. That should be based on the assessment of school policies and the practices of the school staff. Demands of modern life, poor parenting, changing family structure, dysfunctional relationships, the impact of social media, a new understanding of young people’s needs, decline of religion, and rapid sociocultural change. The following reasons why life skills are essential for primary prevention are listed in the state of the art in life skills education in schools.
It is the right time to emphasize life skills education. This is already happening, and it is possible for United Nations agencies to speed up its development at the country level. Many teachers are already engaging in activities related to the development of life skills but need support to create effective approaches to life skills education for health promotion and primary prevention.
Life skills are generic skills, relevant to numerous diverse experiences throughout life. They should be taught as such, to gain maximum impact from life skills lessons. Though, for an effective contribution to any domain of prevention, life skills should also be applied in the context of typical risk situations.
Facilitating the learning of life skills is a central component to promote healthy behavior and mental well-being. To be effective, the teaching of life skills is coupled with the teaching of health information and the promotion of positive (health promoting and pro-social) attitudes and values.
The development of life skills requires modeling of life skills by school staff and a “safe”, supportive classroom environment, that is conducive to the practice and reinforcement of skills. Furthermore, life skills education needs to be developed as part of a whole school initiative designed to support the healthy psychosocial development of children and adolescents, for example, through the promotion of child-friendly practices in schools.
To be effective, life skills lessons should be designed to achieve clearly stated learning objectives for each activity. Life skills learning is facilitated using participatory learning methods and is based on a social learning process that includes: hearing an explanation of the skill in question; observation of the skill (modeling); the practice of the skill in selected situations in a supportive learning environment; and feedback about the individual performance of skills.
The practice of skills is facilitated by role-playing in typical scenarios, with a focus on the application of skills and the effect that they have on the outcome of a hypothetical situation. Skills learning is also facilitated by using skills learning “tools”, e.g. by working through steps in the decision-making process.
Life skills education should be designed to enable children and adolescents to practice skills in progressively more demanding situations for example, by starting with skills learning in non-threatening, low-risk everyday situations and progressively moving on to the application of skills in threatening, high-risk situations.
Other important methods used to facilitate life skills learning include group work, discussion, debate, story-telling, peer-supported learning, and practical community development projects. Practical advice offered during the Meeting included: be humorous and make it relevant!
Life skills learning cannot be facilitated based on information or discussion alone. Moreover, it is not only an active learning process, it must also include experiential learning, i.e. practical experience and reinforcement of the skills of each student in a supportive learning environment.
The introduction of life skills education requires teacher training to promote effective implementation of the program. This can be provided as in-service training, but efforts should also be made to introduce it in teacher training colleges. The successful implementation of a life skills program depends on the development of training materials for teacher trainers; a teaching manual, to provide lesson plans and a framework for a sequential, developmentally appropriate program; teacher training, and continuing support in the use of the programmed materials.
The scope of life skills education varies with the capacity of education systems. Although programmers can begin on a small scale and for a targeted age group, as a longer-term goal life skills education should be developed so that it continues throughout the school years –from school entry until school leaving age. Life skills education can be designed to be spread across the curriculum, to be a separate subject, to be integrated into an existing subject, or a mix of all of these.
The development of life skills education is a dynamic and evolving process, which should involve children, parents, and the local community in making decisions about the content of the program. Once a program has been developed, there needs to be scope for local adaptation over time and in different contexts.
In the short term after three to six months of implementation, the effectiveness of life skills must be measured in terms of the specific learning objectives of the life skills lessons. The other factors such as changes in self-esteem, perceptions of self-efficacy, and behavioral intentions.
Only in the longer term after at least a year is feasible to evaluate life skills education in terms of the prevention of health-damaging and antisocial behavior. Smoking and use of other psychoactive substances, or incidence of delinquent behavior. Further factors may be measured to assess the impact of a life skills program, such as the effect of life skills education on school performance and school attendance.
Multimedia and social media communication initiatives seek to promote the status of girls. A young female character has been created to model the application of life skills in different situations. These scenarios are widely disseminated through popular social media, including animated films, radio dramas, storybooks, and newspaper cartoon strips.
Evaluation of life skills education should include a combination of quantitative and qualitative assessments. The qualitative assessment gives an indication of how well the programmers implemented and received. This is an important aspect of evaluation, which influences the interpretation of quantitative research findings. Life skills outside school
Current knowledge about life skills education internationally is derived primarily from the school setting. There is a need for a greater understanding of the nature of life skills education for young people who are not attending school, to identify the best strategies for supporting effective life skills initiatives to reach out-of-school children and adolescents. There was a consensus among participants that the development of life skills initiatives out of school requires special attention from United Nations agencies.
Different types of life skills intervention to reach out-of-school children and adolescents need to identify. This involves the modeling of life skills using methods such as social media, video films, puppet shows, and cartoons in magazines, newspapers, and on television. Such initiatives can be coupled with support materials to introduce a discussion about the scenarios presented. The support materials can be developed for implementation by peers or other educators in settings such as youth clubs.
Short courses of life skills training can be carried out with children and adolescents who participate in sports and recreational clubs. Life skills training workshops can also be integrated into existing courses offering training in livelihood or vocational skills. Life skills for vulnerable children and adolescents. There is a need for life skills interventions to reach vulnerable children such as street children, sexually exploited and working children, and orphans.
Little is known about life skills interventions with vulnerable young people, although there are many indications that life skills play an important role in determining which children cope in difficult circumstances. These days, excess use of mobile and social media is damaging life skills.
One suggestion made during the Meeting was to start from what the children are interested in and experiencing and to use that as a basis for building life skills sessions with them. However, that would mean a less structured approach, implying an additional need for well-trained educators.
All these three approaches to life skills learning are most likely to rely on short-term interventions. Given the limitations on access to out-of-school children and adolescents over an extended period, an important consideration in the development of life skills interventions will be to identify what is the minimum intervention required to have a positive impact.
Further, there is a need for inter-agency collaboration to accelerate programming, monitoring, and evaluation of life skills education in and out of schools. It is suggested collaboration in the design of life skills curricula in schools; the development of tools for the monitoring and evaluation of life skills education initiatives; the development of guidelines and training materials to support life skills initiatives for out-of-school children and adolescents; and an e-mail network to facilitate the exchange of information between agencies.
Life Skills in High School - The initiatives to develop & implement life skills education in high schools have undertaken in many countries around the world.
Life Skills in High School – The initiatives to develop & implement life skills education in high schools have been undertaken in many countries around the world.
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