# Life Skills Development/Unit Six

1. PEDAGOGICAL TEMPLATES FOR US TO USE - NOTE THE ONE ON REFLECTIONS

2. FLEXIBLE UNIT CREATION

3. SKILLS IN LIFE SKILLS

1. PEDAGOGICAL TEMPLATES FOR US TO USE - NOTE THE ONE ON REFLECTIONS Wiki syntax for iDevice templates A template is called using a predefined label and the text for your iDevice separated by "|" and all enclosed between two "{{ }}" braces. For example, the following syntax will be used for a Self-assessment question:

# Preknowledge

 Think about a situation when you ....type the rest of your preknowlege text here
.


The exampleIN HELP AND THEN PEDAGOGICAL TEMPLATES ON THE RIGHT.

Preknowledge Think about a situation when you ....type the rest of your preknowlege text here

 Templates available The table below lists the templates and corresponding syntax which you can use on WikiEducator.

Templates and corresponding icons Icon Label Syntax to use

 Activity


Activity

 Assignment


# Assignment

 Definition


Definition

 Definitions

Definitions

 Discussion

Discussion

 Tell us a story


# Tell us a story

 Case study


Case Study

 Objective


Objective

 Objectives


Objectives

 Outcomes


# Outcomes

 Key points


Key points

 Media


# Media

 Reading


 Competency


# Competency

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# Summary

 Self assessment


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Definition teacher

2. FLEXIBLE UNIT CREATION

• [[Template can be modified to suit Life Skills. Reflecting during and at the end of activities, Journalling in the Portfolio, and interaction including discussion, are essential activities in Life Skills development:

Unit X Introduction/ Rationale

Outcomes/Objectives

Definitions

Topic 1

Reflection to look into self relating of the unit

Content written to the learner

Activity that includes one or more of the skils of LIfe Skills (see below)

Summary

Assessment - self, peer and /or tutor

Topic 2

Reflection to look into self relating of the unit

Content written to the learner

Activity that includes one or more of the skils of LIfe Skills (see below)

Summary

Assessment - self, peer and /or tutor

3. SKILLS IN LIFE SKILLS

APPENDIX

DEFINITION OF THE SKILLS IN LIFE SKILLS

(1) DECISION MAKING : The ability to choose a course of action from a number of options which may result in a specific outcome or involve the decision to adopt a specific behaviour path.

D : Determine the question. What is the question that needs to be answered?

E : Examine the choices. What are the possible choices?

C : Collect Information. Weigh the choice versus consequence.

I : Investigate consequences. State reasons for and against each choice.

D : Decide. Make the best choice.

E : Evaluate. Did you make the right decision?

(2) PROBLEM SOLVING : The process through which a situation/problem is resolved through the process of a number of steps.

STEPS IN PROBLEM SOLVING:-

(1) Problem Sensing. (2) Define Problem. (3) Setting Objectives. (4) Generating Alternatives. (5) Evaluating Alternatives. (6) Choosing an Alternative. (7) Taking Action. (8) Evaluating the Process and Outcome. (9) Generalizing the Action.

(3) CREATIVE THINKING

Creative thinking is the ability to depart from traditional ways of thinking, resulting in the generation of original and innovative ideas that enable us to respond adaptively to life situations.

A creative individual is said to be independent, perceptive, open minded, objective and possesses self-control, varied interests and high aspirations and is therefore capable of creative thought.

STEPS IN CREATIVE THINKING FOR THE INDIVIDUAL:-

(1) Establish the idea or perspective taken. (2) Redefine the problem from several perspectives. (3) List all solutions to the problem, being as imaginative as possible. (4) Delay evaluation until all possible alternatives have been listed in an effort to prevent counterproductive thinking. (5) Make decision.

STEPS IN CREATIVE THINKING FOR GROUPS USING “GROUP THINK”:-

(1) Brainstorm, encouraging imaginative speculation. (2) Clarify ideas presented. (3) Suggest modifications. (4) Select best suggestion.

                                 OR


(1) Individuals generate ideas silently and note them. (2) The leader obtains and records each member’s ideas. (3) The group discusses and evaluates the recorded ideas. (4) Individuals cast silent votes to determine best suggestion.

Example:

You are attempting to redesign a ball point pen:

 List the present characteristics of the pen.  Generate a new set of characteristics.  Evaluate various combinations of characteristics until all are exhausted.  Decide on final design.

(4) CRITICAL THINKING

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information and experience, formulate ideas, derive conclusions, ask pertinent questions and present logical arguments.

The critical thinking activity focuses on the thought process rather than on taking action. It contributes to health by helping us to recognize and assess the factors that influence attitudes and behaviour, such as media and peer pressure influence.

CRITICAL THINKING REQUIRES THAT AN INDIVIDUAL HAS THE SKILL TO:-

 ANALYZE  DETERMINE  IDENTIFY  DETECT  DISTINGUISH.

STEPS IN THE CRITICAL THINKING PROCESS:-

(1) Exploration to gain insight. (2) Expression to make opinions known. (3) Investigation to verify accuracy, credibility. (4) Ideation to generate options. (5) Evaluation of ideas to identify what to believe and/or do.

(5) EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Effective communication is the ability to express ourselves, both verbally and non-verbally, in ways that are appropriate to our cultures and situations. It allows not only for the transfer of information but also of understanding and emotion from one person to another in such a way that one’s intent is made clear.

The communication process can be:-

(1) Verbal – use of oral and written symbols. (2) Non verbal – gestures, movement, material things, time and space.

The communication process involves:-

                    THE	  THE


  Detractors 	– unclear thought


– inaccurate reception – ambiguous symbols – faulty decoding

                                  – obstructed understanding or fear


HOW TO OVERCOME BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION?

(1) The sender must clarify what is to be transmitted and its purpose. (2) Encoding and decoding must be done with symbols that are understood by both sender and receiver. (3) The message should fit the receiver’s frame of reference. (4) Use the appropriate channel for the type of message being sent. (5) Consider the needs of the receiver. Communicate something that is of value. (6) Ensure congruence between what is said and how it is said. (7) Communicate in an environment of honesty, trust, confidence and support. (8) Listen carefully. Patience, empathy and concentration enhance understanding. (9) Elicit/give honest feedback to ensure the message is understood.

(6) EMPATHY : The ability to imagine what life is like for another person, even in a situation that we are unfamiliar with.

There are two (2) stages in empathizing:-

(1) Feeling with the other person. Experiencing the same feelings of frustration, anger or pain as the other person. Both parties share emotions and arrive at a mutual understanding, closeness and trust.

(2) Putting one’s self in the other person’s place. One mirrors the other person’s feelings and communicates these. This allows the person to get a more objective view of his situation.

(7) : The ability to relate positively with people, creating an environment in which people feel secure and free to interact and express their opinions.

Five (5) factors which make for good interpersonal relationships are:-

(1) Respect – holding people in high regard. (2) Dependability – being responsible and fulfilling one’s obligations. (3) Empathy – being able to put one’s self in the other person’s position. (4) Effort – working hard to make the relationship succeed. (5) Caring – showing concern for and interest in the other person’s feelings, wants and needs.

(8) SELF-AWARENESS : Having a sense of identity and an understanding of our own feelings, beliefs, attitudes, values, goals, motivations and behaviours.

Research suggests that there are two (2) types of self-awareness:-

(1) Private self-awareness – attention to our own thoughts and feelings. We are in touch with the covert aspects of ourselves such as moods, motives, mental processes and desires.

(2) Public self-awareness – attention to ourselves as social beings. We are aware of our observable behaviours and visible physical characteristics, those things that can be seen by others.

Steps in increasing self-awareness:-

(1) Monitor your interactions – Observe your interactions. (2) Identify patterns in your observed behaviour – What are the consistent behaviours? (3) Determine the meaning of behavioural patterns – Decide what the patterns say about you. (4) Analyze the effect of behavioural patterns – Do they make you happy or sad? Do they allow you to achieve your goal? (5) Explore the value systems inherent in your behavioural patterns – What beliefs do they reflect? (6) Implement new insights – change your behaviour based on your new self-awareness.

(9) COPING WITH EMOTIONS : The ability to recognize a range of feelings in ourselves and others, the awareness of how emotions influence behaviour, and the ability to respond to emotions appropriately.

There are two (2) main ways of coping with emotions. One is problem oriented and the other emotion oriented.

(1) Problem Centred Approach a. Analyze the emotional situation. b. Take action to change or avoid the emotional situation.

(2) The Emotion Centred Approach a. Adopt some defense mechanism (self-deception) or b. Deaden the emotion by use of alcohol or drugs.

(10) COPING WITH STRESS : The ability to recognize the sources of stress in our lives and the effects that stress produces, and the ability to act in ways that help us cope or reduce our levels of stress.

There are three (3) basic steps in coping with stress.

(1) Awareness - one must understand one’s self, what is happening (sensations in body, thoughts, emotions) and whether the stress originates from conflicts within, from imbalance in one’s life or from environmental circumstances beyond one’s immediate control.

(2) Acceptance - acknowledging that what one has become aware of is stress.

(3) Adjustment – altering perceptions, behaviour, lifestyle or personal situation in order to cope effectively with the stress. For example, be more assertive, vent anger and frustration constructively, get adequate rest and sleep, eat properly, exercise and learn relaxation techniques, build job related and interpersonal skills, seek support or counseling.

1. What is Stress?

      A stressor is anything that throws a body out of its normal state. When stressed, the whole physical, mental and emotional system is under constant ‘red-alert’, and over time this can cause chronic worry, anxiety, exhaustion, headaches, and can even lead to life-threatening illnesses such as strokes or heart attacks. Stressors trigger an increase in the release of stored energy to provide the body more power and stamina, increase in blood flow carrying oxygen to the brain, dilation of the pupils to allow more light to enter the eyes, increase in perspiration, increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and decrease in the digestion process.
If we feel stressed during our working day, adrenaline - which causes the brain to be in a state of excitation – remains in our system for many hours or even days afterwards, and as a result we are likely to have less patience than usual. Outside of work we therefore may be more prone to anger or irritation than we otherwise would be.



What are the effects of stress on your thoughts, feelings and Behaviour? Stress can over stimulate the mind, eventually causing mental blocks or, conversely, an overactive mind, with little or no control over persistent unwanted thoughts, and an endless stream of worry for no reason. It affects us emotionally because we can lose control of our anger and react irrationally, and this may eventually damage relationships. It is easy to see someone’s performance suffer when they are under stress, thus making them much less efficient. Effects of stress On your body On your thoughts and feelings On your Behaviour Headache Anxiety Overeating or loss of appetite Chest Pain Restlessness Decreased anger control marked by sudden outbursts with little provocation Pounding Heart Worrying Increased use of alcohol and drugs High Blood Pressure Irritability Increased smoking Shortness of breath Depression Withdrawal or isolation Muscle aches, such as back and neck pain Sadness Crying spells Clenched Jaws Anger Changes in close relationships Grinding teeth Mood swings Job dissatisfaction Tight, dry throat Feeling of insecurity Decreased productivity Indigestion Lack of concentration Burnout Constipation or diarrhoea Confusion Stomach Cramping or Bloating Forgetfulness Increased perspiration, often causing cold, sweaty hands Resentment Fatigue Tendency to blame others for how you feel Insomnia Guilt Weight gain or loss Tendency to see only the negative aspects of people and situations Diminished sex drive Skin problems, such as hives

What is the “Fight or Flight” response? The fight or flight response, also called the “acute stress response,” was first described by Walter Cannon in 1929. The theory states that animals react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system. The response was later recognised as the first stage of a general adaptation syndrome that regulates stress responses among vertebrates and other organisms. In layman’s terms an animal has two options when faced with danger. They can either face the threat (“fight”), or they can avoid the threat (“flight). The onset of a stress response is associated with specific physiological actions in the sympathetic nervous system, both directly and indirectly through the release of epinephrine and to a lesser extent nor epinephrine from the medulla of the adrenal glands. The release is triggered by acetylcholine released from pre ganglionic sympathetic nerves. These catecholamine hormones facilitate immediate physical reactions by triggering increases in heart rate and breathing, constricting blood vessels in many parts of the body – but not in muscles (vasodilation), brain, lungs and heart (increasing blood supply to organs involved in the flight) – and tightening muscles. An abundance of catecholamines at neuroreceptor sites facilitates reliance on spontaneous or intuitive behaviours often related to combat or escape. Normally, when a person is in a serene, unstimulated state, the “firing” of neurones in the locus ceruleus is minimal. A novel stimulus, once perceived, is relayed from the sensory cortex of the brain through the thalamus to the brain stem. That route of signalling increases the rate of noradrenergic activity in the locus ceruleus, and the person becomes alert and attentive to the environment. If a stimulus is perceived as a threat, a more intense and prolonged discharge of the locus ceruleus activates the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system (Thase & Howland, 1995). The activation of the sympathetic nervous system leads to the release of nor epinephrine from nerve endings acting on the heart, blood vessels, respiratory centres, and other sites. The ensuing physiological changes constitute a major part of the acute stress response. The other major player in the acute stress response is the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. What are some behavioural patterns resulting from stress? Stress can change a person’s pattern of behaviour leading to emotional flatness / emotional numbing, anxiety, distance, withdrawal from social interactions, lives of quiet desperation, extreme lethargy, increasing dependence on the structure and procedures of the institution to initiate and organise their behaviour. In extreme cases, Prisoner apathy and loss of the capacity to initiate behaviour on one’s own approximates the symptoms of clinical depression.

“Although individuals vary in their ability to adjust to differing degrees of stress, subjection to prolonged, extreme stress results in the development of ‘neurotic’ symptoms in virtually every person exposed to it…”

C.F. Hockings review of the psychological consequences of exposure to “extreme” stress. F. Hocking, Extreme Environmental Stress and its significance for Psychopathology, 24 American Journal of Psychotherapy 4-26 (1970):

(11) NEGOTIATION SKILLS : The ability to communicate with other people for the purpose of settling a matter, coming to terms, or reaching an agreement. This may involve the ability to compromise or to give and take.

: They help us to meet and address individual needs and concerns in ways that are mutually beneficial. This is a key factor in working and playing cooperatively with others.

(12) REFUSAL SKILLS : The ability to communicate the decision to say “no” effectively (so that it is understood).

: Refusal skills enable us to carry out health –enhancing behaviours that are consistent with our values and decisions.

(13) ASSERTIVENESS : The ability to state one’s point of view or SKILLS personal rights clearly and confidently, without denying the personal rights of others.

: Assertiveness skills enable people to take actions that are in their own best interests. Such actions include the ability to stand up for oneself or someone else without feeling intimidated or anxious and to express feelings and points of view honestly and openly.

(14) HEALTHY SELF- : The ability to make situational and lifestyle MANAGEMENT/ behaviour choices that result in attaining and/or MONITORING maintaining one’s physical, social, emotional, SKILLS spiritual and environmental health.

: They enable us to maintain health-enhancing decisions from day-to-day as well as to reach longer term health and wellness goals.

(Definitions - Courtesy Carlisle Branker, Vimla Ramsumair, Joyce Persad and HFLE Curriculum Working Team)

15) SKILLS TO DEVELOP IN PROJECTS AND LIFE SKILLS SESSIONS

THINKING SKILLS ORAL/ AURAL SKILLS INFORMATION. PROCESSING SKILLS PRACTICAL SKILLS WRITING PROCESS SKILLS SOCIAL SKILLS Brain-storming

Using KW LA approach ( What I Know, What I Want to Know, What I have Learnt (after research and practical activities) and What Action I will Take) Group or pair discussion on how they would get this information: which sources Reading to get information from sources e.g. text, library book, encyclopaedia Doing experiments, interviews, surveys, visits Recording observations, procedures, findings and results Helping and motivating others. Making sure that each member of the group has a chance to express her thoughts. Completing her tasks as part of the group

Self & peer assessment of the procedure, including use of instruments, & of the results, according to agreed criteria Self assessment of improvements in leadership behaviours discussed before group work Selection of particular topics, issues to base project on. (analytical/evaluative thinking) Formulating questions to ask in an interview to get further information Summarising and note-taking to record information gained/ selected Making charts, models, comic strips to demonstrate information and feelings Writing first draft of short response, report, essay, based on agreed criteria and stated in a checklist Cooperating with others and sharing ideas Validating others Self & peer assessment to check if the questions are adequate in content to get the information required Self & peer assessment to see if information gained is sufficient & is clearly stated Self & peer assessment to check if the aim of the student has been fulfilled by the product & if it is easily understood Self & peer assessment using content checklist Self assessment of improvement in team behaviours, discussed before group work Formulating questions to fill gaps in current information base of trainee Discussing possible products and processes of this project and agreeing on headings, criteria for practical and writing work. Interviewing selected persons in home and/or community - or interviewing fellow trainees role playing on the issue Interpreting data to piece out challenges, achievements, and developments trainees would like to initiate or recommend

Estimating, measuring & calculating data relevant to issue Composing music inspired by the issue & its challenges that can be integrated with the form of the completed piece, which might be a song/ calypso/ poem/rap Writing second draft using the suggestions from self and peers on how to improve it and then editing the piece, based on agreed checklist ( mechanics of English – spelling, punctuation, grammar) Self & peer assessment to check if the interview was well conducted and produced sufficient data to assist the project

Self & peer assessment of the accuracy, understandings inferences - creative & analytical thinking about the findings Self & peer assessment of the suitability of the music according to agreed criteria Self and peer observation and assessment of completed practical and written work according to agreed checklists. ]]