In high school, we often think of the enjoyment and happiness this phase in our lives brings us. We look forward to seeing our friends every day, attending football games, attending club meetings and the daily routine of going to school learning interesting things, however, is that all it should be?
High school is created to give us the knowledge, a foundation and resourceful information we need to carry us to college, trade school, Military or whatever other direction our lives take us, but can we say it teaches us the tools we need to help us get ready for adulthood? Being that there is a limit on life skill courses such as driver’s education and home economics that can be put into effect in the school’s curriculum, there is much more to learn that can be implemented in the high schools that could get students prepared for adulthood. Some may say that it’s the parent’s responsibility to prepare their children for adulthood, but if skills such as college prep, money management, career building, networking, time management etc. are implemented in the high school’s curriculum the students would be well balanced, educated and ready for whatever direction life after high school takes them.
This evaluation examines the use of life skills education to produce adult readiness among high school students. According to Pillai (2012), since many years ago the world had changed drastically in its competitiveness and functionality. With this change, many people including adolescents have become more stressed and have developed mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, rejection, relationship failure depression etc.
These changes have made it clear that life skills education could help prevent and develop approaches for adolescents to be able to deal with the modern world. Life skills education could help adolescents overcome peer pressure, give them basic skills that are essential for a functional life, help build their self-confidence, and gain independence. Incorporating these skills in an adolescent’s life could also help build on their social and emotional development. Life skills would also promote mental health well-being and give them the knowledge they would need to face the realities and competitiveness of life (Pillai, 2012).
This social issue should be important to social workers because if we give adolescents the necessary tools and skills of life early then we could reduce the number of people needing services, mental health medication and people in poverty. The social justice and/or diversity issues related to life skills education amongst adolescents is gender equality. In some countries, girls do not receive the same type education as boys. Young girls are more so groomed to become wives, mothers, and learn to take care of a family and the household, but life skills education is a tool that could enhance both boys and girls lives.
According to UNFPA Framework for Action on Adolescents & Youth (2007), “Education enhances the competencies of girls and boys, and it offers a promise for gender equality (p.26)”. By teaching girls and boy’s life skills they both could have the same opportunities in life such as access to employment, healthcare, income, education and more. According to Bender (2002). The development of life skills education curriculum should be understood and developed by social workers, school health, vocation and general guidance counselors, psychological services and other departments (p. 25). Tshiwula (1995) points out that since social workers have the training and knowledge of working with groups and families and individuals then they would be in a better position to provide a purposeful direction to work in the schools. (p.25).
It is believed that since social workers provide strategies for prevention and development, and interventions then they would be of benefit to help with life skills development and delivery for the adolescents. These are the reasons why this evaluation assists in our understanding of life skills education among adolescents and contribute to the field of social work.
Hypothesis: High school students who participate in life skills education would likely be more prepared for adulthood than those who do not.
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