ADDENDUM G - LIFE SKILLS
Life skills can be defined as "basic
learned abilities and attitudes that enrich the lives of people and increase
their potential for success as individuals and group members.
life skills empower people to:
- Perceive and
respond constructively to significant life events.
- Apply knowledge to life problems.
in an interdependent society
- Be self-directing and productive.
- Lead a rewarding life.
- Contribute to society.
effectively in a diverse and changing world, "1
Many lists of "life
skill" categories have been developed. These have ranged from three to as
many as 36. Many of the lists, and categories of skills have not met two basic
tests of a classification scheme: 1). Categories must be mutually exclusive,
and 2) categories must be collectively comprehensive. Lists developed in the
past 10 -15 years include:
- Understanding Self
- Communicating and Relating with Others
- Problem Solving and Decision Making
- Acquiring, Analyzing, and Using Information
- Managing Resources
Weatherford & Weatherford(1987)
Maryland 4-H (1993)
- Acquiring Knowledge
- Getting Along with Others
Minnesota School System (1993)
for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
- Understanding Others
- Using Accumulated Knowledge to Interpret
- Continuous Learning
- Mental and Physical Well- Being
- Participation in the Economic World of Production and Consumption
- Responsible Societal Membership
- Coping with Change
U.S. Department of Labor.
Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills.(SCANS. 1992).
Foundation Skills include:
- Basic Skills (reading, writing, arithmetic/mathematics, listening, and
- Thinking Skills (creative thinking, decision making, problem solving, visualizing, learning, and reasoning);
- Personal Qualities (responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, self-management,
- Resources (managing: time, money,
materials/facilities, and human
- Interpersonal (teamwork, teaches
others, serves clients, exercises
leadership, negotiates, works
- Information: (acquiring/evaluating;
computers to process
- Systems (how they work, monitoring & correcting performance on system
operations, and improving or designing systems); and
- Technology (selecting, applying to tasks, and
maintaining & troubleshooting equipment)
There are many similarities among the lists
and no doubt there are other skills and abilities which would be considered
essential in different settings. Life skills should be considered and included
in intended outcome statements and in planned activities. However, do not try
to include too many in one lesson or session, one or two will provide the focus
needed. Then use a variety of learning experiences to reinforce practicing the skill
and acquiring mastery.