The Problem and Its Significance
Life skills play a crucial role in individuals’ overall development and their integration into communities. Hermens et al. define such abilities as “skills that enable individuals to succeed in the different environments in which they live, such as school, home, and in their neighborhoods” (408). To function normally in society, individuals should not only have the abstract knowledge in different fields but also be able to deal with challenges that appear in life. Furthermore, if life skills are taught in high school, this would exert a significant influence on students’ future life, helping them to communicate with people and deal with problems more efficiently. There is also evidence that life skills training reduces the rate of violence, teenage pregnancies, bullying, and drug abuse among teenagers (Prajapati 1). It is worth noting that socially vulnerable students particularly require life skills education. Taking it into account, there is a need to teach essential life skills at high school as it prepares students for life outside of it.
The high school curriculum consists of a wide range of subjects, but it may lack in teaching essential life skills. Prajapati et al. state that education “is important, but education to support and live life better is more important” (1). Therefore, the school program should feature life skills subjects and devote enough time for teaching students how to ‘live a life.’ Life skills instruction could become an effective way to solve the problem.
The abilities fall into three main groups: emotional, social, and thinking skills. They include, for instance, problem-solving skills, critical thinking, communication, resilience, and empathy (Shek et al.). These skills allow people to make the right decisions, communicate effectively, build relationships, cope with problems, and empathize with others. As such, the implementation of life skills related subjects into the school program deserves special attention.
Insufficient emphasis on this problem may be connected with the shortage of funds and time at schools. However, the importance of teaching life skills should not be disregarded, and school staff should pay attention to the issue. The problem is significant because acquiring life skills is as crucial as other subjects taught in high school. In this paper, possible solutions to the problem will be discussed.
Proposal and Justification
One of the possible solutions to the problem is to implement life skills training into the school program. Prajapati et al. note that if this practice is a part of the high school curriculum, it will have a positive outcome (4). The researchers suggest introducing different activities that may help to develop life skills in students. Classroom discussions could allow students to acquire empathy, assertiveness, and listening skills that are essential in real life. For this purpose, teachers could also use simulations and educational games. This could help to combine the use of skills, knowledge, and attitudes and promote active learning.
The practice of working in groups may be an effective way to enable students to gain life skills at school. First, it is helpful when there is not enough time for individual work. Second, this form of interaction between students enhances team building, which will be useful in the future when communicating with colleagues. Storytelling is another useful practice that can be helpful in developing critical thinking skills in adolescents. Students are supposed to consider local problems, write their own stories, and tell them to others. This activity could also enhance concentration, creativity, develop patience, and listening skills. It can also be proposed to use debates as a method of practicing communication skills and solving problems. A teacher could suggest a topic and serve as a moderator of the discussion.
Other solutions to the problem may include reading lectures and providing materials on the topic; however, these practices appear to be less effective compared to ones that have been discussed in the paper. The main benefit of the proposed solution is the interaction between students that teaches them to build relationships with other people and facilitates functioning in society. Moreover, this method enables learners to gain essential skills through activities, games, and interaction. This approach may be more attractive to students, and they are more likely to participate in the activities than to listen to lectures or familiarize themselves with provided materials at home.
All in all, gaining life skills plays a vital role in an individual’s development. High schools should introduce the practice of life skills education as they are responsible for preparing students for adult life. Without knowing how to communicate with other people, think critically, and solve problems, a person may encounter difficulties integrating into communities. Life skills training also influences people’s overall development and allows them to lead a better life. Among possible solutions to the problem are various practices which may help teachers to impart life skills. Working in teams, brainstorming, classroom discussions, debates, and storytelling could become a useful tool for developing specific abilities that a student will require in life. These practices have advantages over other proposals because they address students’ needs in an interactive and exciting way.
Hermens, Niels, et al. “A Systematic Review of Life Skill Development through Sports Programs Serving Socially Vulnerable Youth.” Research quarterly for exercise and sport, vol. 88, no. 4, 2017, pp. 408-424.
Prajapati, Ravindra, Bosky Sharma, and Dharmendra Sharma. “Significance of Life Skills Education.” Contemporary Issues in Education Research (CIER), vol. 10, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1-6.
Shek, Daniel TL, et al. “Perceptions of Adolescents, Teachers and Parents of Life Skills Education and Life Skills in High School Students in Hong Kong.” Applied Research in Quality of Life, 2020, pp. 1-14.