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Life skills introductions

Life skills introductions



Life Skills introduction....

Life Skills introduction.

Skills-based health education including life skills. Making the links. Unicef, New York. Also go to http://www.unicef.org/programme/lifeskills/mainmenu.html ...

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  • Child friendly schools is the umbrella concept which sets a vision for what quality education could be. FRESH (Focused Resources for Effective School Health) is a call to action which sets a vision for addressing key elements of the health aspects of a child friendly school. Health Promoting Schools is one particular mechanism for addressing FRESH, and the health issues of the school environment. Skills-based health education refers to the curriculum aspects designed to address health issues at or through schools. Skills-based health education addresses a balance of knowledge, attitudes and skills using interactive and participatory teaching and learning methods. (Skills-based health education is also one element of the FRESH concept, although it applies to many other approaches). Life skills is a term often used to describe the particular type of psychosocial and interpersonal skills addressed in skills-based health education, along with knowledge and attitudes. 
  • Child friendly schools is the umbrella concept which sets a vision for what quality education could be. FRESH (Focused Resources for Effective School Health) is a call to action which sets a vision for addressing key elements of the health aspects of a child friendly school. Health Promoting Schools is one particular mechanism for addressing FRESH, and the health issues of the school environment. Skills-based health education refers to the curriculum aspects designed to address health issues at or through schools. Skills-based health education addresses a balance of knowledge, attitudes and skills using interactive and participatory teaching and learning methods. (Skills-based health education is also one element of the FRESH concept, although it applies to many other approaches). Life skills is a term often used to describe the particular type of psychosocial and interpersonal skills addressed in skills-based health education, along with knowledge and attitudes. 
  • - An overview of the key elements of the vision of a child friendly school is provided here. For more information, see www.UNICEF.org A child friendly school should be: - Inclusive, in that the goal is to have all children at school and learning, with special needs being met - Effective academically - Healthy and protective for children in terms of the physicaland psychosocial environment - Gender sensitive - Involved and communicating with families and communities and listening to children and young people.
  • - Only the elements of the FRESH concept are provided here. For more info, see www.UNICEF.org - Without water and sanitation facilities, it is difficult to be serious about school health - To be successful, FRESH requires the participation of teachers, health workers, pupils and members of the surrounding community. These players must also be working in genuine partnership . - The FRESH concept suggests that policies, skills-based health education and services be implemented together. Together, they create a unified strategy for linking the goals of education, health, nutrition and hygiene.
  • What is skills-based health education? This briefing is intended to clarify a range of terms used to describe educational processes involving life skills – the preferred term used here is “skills-based health education” Well trained and well supported teachers are able to contribute to ‘good quality education’ by applying effective teaching methods. Skills-based health education is distinguished from traditional information-based approaches because of a balanced focus on skills and attitudes, as well as information. The ‘skills’ referred to in this context are ‘psycho-social and interpersonal skills’ often referred to as ‘life skills’, such as communication skills and negotiation skills, decision making skills, critical and creative thinking skills, skills for coping with emotions and stress and conflict, and self awareness building skills. Skills-based health education can be applied to a wide range of content areas or issues, of which health education is one example, and within that, HIV/AIDS education is one issue. - Skills-based health education can be utilised as well in school-based programs as non-school programs; however, the particular focus here is on school settings. - Skills-based health education is but one of the many strategies required for behaviour change or behaviour development to be effective. Skills-based health education will work best in the context of other strategies such as policy development, access to appropriate health services, community development, media, and so on.
  • Some criteria Skills-based health education is distinct from other education strategies in that changes in behaviour form at least part of the program objectives. This implies some form of change not only in knowledge, but also attitudes, and skills which contribute to and facilitate the desired behaviour change. Based on student needs means - participant-centred - that the needs of participants are taken into account when designing the program content and learning processes. Individual differences should be considered, including gender, ethnic background, native language, socioeconomic factors, and geographical factors Participatory teaching and learning methods involve more than merely sitting in groups and talking. Examples include debates, brainstorming, educational games, role plays, exploratory learning, school-community projects and many other techniques. Traditional ‘information-based’ approaches which tend to still dominate, although helpful, are generally not sufficient to yield change in attitudes and behaviours. More effective teaching and learning outcomes are likely to result from content and accompanying teaching processes which address a balance of skills, as well as information and attitudes that are relevant to the participants and issues Sensitive issues, such as sexual health, HIV/AIDS risk, drug use, or other personal issues, are best addressed within the context of other relevant lifestyle issues, and NOT as isolated issues.
  • Two main elements are important to understanding and implementing skills-based health education: (i) the content, and (ii) the teaching and learning methods (i) Content – This does not mean information only, but rather, “what are the messages, themes, philosophies - knowledge, attitudes, and (life) skills that are to be explored?” (ii) Teaching and learning methods – A wide range of teaching and learning methods can and should be employed. Information-based approaches may be legitimate for meeting certain program objectives, but, they should not dominate.
  • (i) Content To effectively influence behaviour, knowledge, attitudes and (life) skills must be applied in a particular content area, topic or subject. Learning about decision making, for example, will be more meaningful if the content or topic is relevant and remains constant or linked, such as looking at different aspects or types of decisions related to relationships, rather than considering decisions about a number of unrelated or irrelevant issues. Genuine participation of the group is essential for identifying the relevance of content. Whatever the content area, a balance of three elements needs to be considered in implementing skills based health education: 1. Knowledge, 2. Attitudes, and 3. Skills The question for program designers is ‘what’ knowledge, attitudes and skills will be addressed The ‘skills’ referred to above are sometimes called “life skills” – or psychosocial and interpersonal skills. Many different issues, topics or subjects can be the focus of skills-based health education or life skills-based education; for example, health issues such as drug use, HIV/AIDS/STD prevention, suicide prevention and mental health, self esteem; or other issues, such as consumer education, environmental education, peace education, or education for development. Note that life skills do not include skills such as interviewing skills, or physical or manual skills involved in agriculture or animal husbandry, which might be called ‘livelihood’ skills.
  • More on Life Skills Skills-based health education involves a group of psycho-social and inter-personal skills, often called “life skills”. There is no definitive list. Life skills can be broken down many different ways: social, cognitive, and emotional skills is one way; or a more detailed listing of skills under communication skills, values (analysis and) clarification skills, decision-making skills, and coping and stress management skills. A huge number of component skills might be listed under each of the general categories of life skills provided. Such categories are an attempt to provide a logical grouping; however, the skills are not separate, but are all inextricably linked. In practice, many of these skills would be used simultaneously; e.g., decision making is likely to involve creative and critical thinking components (what are my options?) and values analysis (what is important to me?) The more detailed table of skills gives further insight into the types of (life) skills generally agreed as important in risk reduction programs - inter-personal communication skills, decision making skills, critical and creative thinking skills, skills for coping with emotions and stress, and self awareness building skills. Equally, other programs, publications or issues may utilise different categories of skills, but, the basics tend to remain conceptually similar.
  • Methods for effective teaching and learning - Well trained and well supported teachers use a range of methods and resources to achieve quality learning outcomes. There is a place for information-focused sessions and teacher-focused or teacher-led sessions, within a varied methodology, however, these methods are generally quite widespread. The greater need appears to be for the implementation of more interactive and child-centred methods. A list of some of these is provided. - Skills-based health education is not synonymous with interactive teaching and learning methods, although it relies on the use of these methods. Skills-based health education requires that the two elements are in place: (i) the content area or focus for the program; and (ii) the interactive teaching and learning methods. Skills-based health education cannot occur where there is no interaction among the participants – student to student and student to teacher. - The interaction of groups of people guided through the educational processes of skills-based health education facilitates and generates the learning at individual and group level. For example, it is difficult to imagine analysing values and attitudes if only one individual’s ideas are presented; Equally, a broader field of information and a longer list of options are likely to be generated by a group of people rather than an individual in the process of decision making. Interpersonal and psycho-social skills cannot be learned from sitting alone and reading a book.
  • Who can facilitate skills based health education for HIV/AIDS prevention? while teachers are an obvious entry point for many reasons, a number of other possible facilitators need to be considered.
  • SBHE - is not just for schools, nor is it just for certain topics such as AIDS. Non-formal programs, NGOs or other community programs provide very important services in many countries, and should be linked directly with formal systems as much as possible.
  • Outcome evaluation - Three levels of outcome evaluation are represented, each with a specific purpose - Session/classroom level - focuses on immediate knowledge, attitude and/or skill development as result of delivering a specific program over a relatively short period of time. - Behavioural level - focuses on possible changes in core behaviour of interest, which usually requires a range of strategies to have been implemented over a relatively longer period of time. A risk behaviour survey is one way to track changes in behaviour over time (for example, if it is implemented every two years), however, such surveys are not designed to evaluate specific programs. They are intended for monitoring rather than evaluation. - Epidemiological level- focuses on possible health outcomes related to behaviour change, such as reduced STD or HIV/AIDS incidence rates, improved self esteem. Process evaluation - Process evaluation is also important, in addition to the three levels of outcome evaluation above. - Process evaluation might include information about acceptability of the program or client satisfaction, as well as whether the program actually reached the intended audience, and whether the program elements were ever implemented at all, or were implemented in the intended way. Coverage and quality of the program are two key domains of inquiry for program level process evaluation.
  • Barriers to effectiveness Poorly understood : The term “life skills” is used in many different ways which can create confusion. Also, when the idea is not clearly understood, it is unlikely to gain interest and commitment. UNICEF uses the term to describe “psychosocial and interpersonal skills” which help people to communicate better, to make more informed and balanced decisions, to avoid risky situations, or to cope with stress. Along with the necessary knowledge, these skills are considered important because they can shape attitudes and ultimately lead to healthy and pro-social behaviours and productive lifestyles. Competing priorities: HIV/AIDS, other health issues and social sciences, are often considered the ‘soft subjects’ and not given the same status as traditional academic subjects such as science or mathematics. In addition, HIV/AIDS requires people to face issues that may not be openly discussed, and some sectors of society would perhaps prefer not to address. Poor policy support: Skills-based health education for HIV/AIDS prevention will work best where it is supported by other reinforcing strategies. Appropriate policy can be one of the most influential strategies for creating a conducive environment. Unfortunately, programs are often implemented ‘vertically’or without sufficient linkages to policy, which ultimately limits the potential for success. Poor and uneven implementation : Ongoing support to facilitators (teachers) is essential for good quality implementation. Many programs provide only brief, or one-off training workshops and expect the trainees to go back to their schools or communities and implement, in effect, single-handedly. Practical experiences suggests over and over that support during implementation is a critical success factor. In addition, although sufficient evidence exists to support ‘going to scale’, few programs make national coverage a priority from the outset, and many do not progress past pilot level.
  • How to implement skills-based health education in schools 3 main options : (i) “carrier” subject alone: e.g. Skills-based education to prevent HIV/AIDS integrated into an existing subject relevant to the issues, such as social studies or health education (ii) separate subject: Skills-based education taught as a specific subject to address HIV (iii) integration/infusion alone: Skills-based education to prevent HIV/AIDS included (superficially) in all or many existing subjects through regular classroom teachers. Not recommended) - Of the three ways, the ‘carrier’ subject emerges as the most feasible short term option especially where little already exists. However, some countries, where the conditions are amenable, have had success with the separate subject approach - Integration or infusion has not been shown to work - It is complex and requires enormous effort for implementation training and support which is usually not implemented in practice. - Other settings and strategies also need to be considered in order to reach more young people, including non-formal settings and approaches, peer education, and school clubs.
  • Too many programs have not moved beyond pilot phase. We know enough to plan for national coverage See FRESH slides earlier - more can be accomplished with a set of coordinated strategies than with one small education program Integrating HIV/AIDS thinly across the curriculum has not been shown to work. A concentrated module of learning needs to be placed in one teaching area or “carrier subject” - see previous slide on placement in curriculum No need to start again, plenty of materials are out there. We must distribute them much better and provide quality training. Programs that apply the life skills to specific areas of learning are more likely to achieve observable outcomes. The outcomes of the generic program will still be achieved, in terms of learning about the life skills, but in addition, learning about important health and social issues can also be achieved at the same time. Too often HIV/AIDS, and skills-based health education (including life skills) are treated as the poor cousins of education systems, with little or no training provided to teachers. For the best results, dedicated training units within Ministries must be identified, and they should be able to provide thorough training, guidance, and on-going support

Life skills introductions Life skills introductions Presentation Transcript

  • Skills-based health education including life skills Making the links Unicef, New York Also go to http://www.unicef.org/programme/lifeskills/mainmenu.html
  • What is the link? F.R.E.S.H. Skills-based health education Child Friendly Schools Life skills Health Promoting Schools
  • Child Friendly Schools
    • Quality learners : healthy, well-nourished, ready to learn, and supported by their family and community
    • Quality content : curricula and materials for literacy, numeracy, knowledge, attitudes, and skills for life
    • Quality teaching-learning processes: child-centred; (life) skills-based approaches, technology
    • Quality learning environments: policies and practices, facilities (classrooms, water, sanitation), services (safety, physical and psycho-social health)
    • Quality outcomes : knowledge, attitudes and skills; suitable assessment, at classroom and national levels
    • And gender-sensitive throughout
    • Inclusive of children
    • Effective for learning
    • Healthy and protective for children
    • Involved with children, families, and communities
    • Gender-sensitive
    Child-seeking and Child-centred
  • What is FRESH ?
    • F ocusing
    • R esources on
    • E ffective
    • S chool
    • H ealth
    • A partnership: UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO, WORLD BANK
    • Core intervention activities
    • Effective health, hygiene and nutrition policies for schools
    • Sanitation and access to safe water facilities for all schools
    • Skills based health, hygiene & nutrition education
    • School based health & nutrition services
    • Supporting activities
    • Effective partnerships between teachers and health workers
    • Effective community partnerships
    • Pupil participation
  • What is skills-based health education ?
    • part of good quality education
    • not just for health issues
    • not just for schools
  • Skills-based health education ... - has behaviour change as part of programme objectives - has a balance of knowledge, attitudes and skills - uses participatory teaching and learning methods - is based on student needs - is gender sensitive throughout
  • Content Methods The content areas of skills-health education The methods for teaching & learning
  • Content Knowledge Attitudes Skills (life) What topic? What issue? About what? Towards what? For what? Learning Outcomes Methods
  • (Life) Skills Values analysis & clarification skills Communication skills Decision making skills Coping & stress management skills Content knowledge attitudes
  • Methods for teaching & learning better - child-centred - interactive & participatory - group work & discussion - brainstorming - role play - educational games - debates - practising people skills
  • Who can facilitate? - teachers - young people (peer educators) - community agencies - religious groups - others... Just about anybody!
  • What settings can be used? - school - community - street - vocational - religious - existing groups or clubs - others... Just about any setting!
  • HEALTH & DEVELOPMENT GOALS BEHAVIOURAL OUTCOMES ANTECEDENTS: PROTECTIVE & RISK FACTORS Effort required School, community plus... policies, health services, community partnerships... School, community, national plus... media campaigns, national policies, health & social services School ... Skills-based health ed plus... Expected outcomes Output depends on input % adolescents ever had sex (at ages 13, 15, 19) % adolescents with STIs % adolescents addicted to intravenous drugs % adolescents infected with HIV (15-19; m:f) % adolescents able to resist unwanted sex % adolescents who know how to protect themselves % adolescents using intravenous drugs
  • Evaluation Session/classroom level - immediate KAS outcome Behaviour level - behavioural outcome Epidemiological level - health outcome
  • Barriers to the life skills approach - poor policy support - poor and uneven implementation - poorly understood - competing priorities
  • 3 main ways to implement in schools
    • 1. “carrier” subject 2. separate subject
    • or unit of work (long term option)
    • (short term option)
    • 3. infusion/integration (not recommended)
    Fast Track Slow Track
  • Priority Actions
    • Away from… Towards….
    • small scale………………. national coverage
    • isolated education
    • programs……………….... comprehensive - FRESH
    • integration……………….. Single carrier subject
    • creating new materials…. better use of what is
    • generic programs………. specific (health and social)
            • outcomes
    • HIV/AIDS & life skills as
    • an add-on……………….. dedicated staff, training &
    • support over time