Empowering adolescents with life skills education in schools

As once-hallowed social institutions strain under the burden of changing norms, parents, governments and the corporate world are increasingly looking to schools to help equip the new generation with problem-solving skills for daily living. Skills that will help them effectively negotiate the constantly evolving environment at work, at home and in the community. The good news is that many educational institutions are convinced that life skills education should no longer be a mere afterthought.

However, both early adopters and the cynics are looking for hard evidence to substantiate the touted benefits of life skills education.

The impact of a life skills education program on students of two secondary schools was assessed through comparison with matched adolescents from neighbouring schools in the district that did not have the life skills education program.

Assessment tools included the Rosenberg Scale of Self-Esteem (RSES, Rosenberg 1965), Preadolescent Adjustment Scale (PAAS, Pareek et al. 1975), Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES Jerusalem and Schwarzer 1995), Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire – Self-Report Version (SDQ SRV Goodman et al. 1998) and teacher feedback on observable changes in student behaviour in the classroom.

Results showed that the adolescents in the program had significantly better self-esteem, perceived adequate coping, better adjustment generally, specifically with teachers, in school, and prosocial behavior.

Empowering adolescents with life skills education in schools – School mental health program: Does it work?

Bharath Srikala and Kumar K. V. Kishore, Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Indian J Psychiatry. 2010 Oct-Dec; 52(4): 344–349.

Impact of life skills training on self-esteem, adjustment and empathy

A sample of 60 students (30 male and 30 female), in the 15-17 years age group, from Hans Raj Model School, Punjabi Bagh, were tested before and after life skills training was imparted, to ascertain the impact of such training.

Self esteem inventory, Adjustment inventory for school students (AISS) and the Empathy quotient (EQ) tests were applied before and after life skills training.

The results showed that post-training, students improved significantly in self-esteem, emotional adjustment, educational adjustment, total adjustment and empathy.

Impact of life skills training on self-esteem, adjustment and empathy among adolescents

Pooja Yadav and Naved Iqbal, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India

Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology, October 2009, Vol. 35, Special Issue, 61-70

Individualized education for slow learners

Most parents and educators are in agreement that the ‘one size fits all’ model of teaching is no longer tenable. However, what is still unclear is the actual efficacy of tailored programs in regular schools; particularly in relation to slow learners.

15 children with IQ in the 70–90 range were given individualized education in reading, writing and mathematics for 5 hours a week in two sessions, over a period of 4 months. These students were either repeated failures in all subjects or with academic performance two classes below the class in which they were studying at the time.

Tests in reading, writing and mathematics were conducted before and after the individualized education program.

87% of children showed improvement in either mathematics, reading or writing and 47% showed improvement in all the three areas.

Developing a model for resource room training for slow learners in normal schools

P. Krishnakumar, A. M. Jisha,1 Sowmya K. Sukumaran, and M. K. C. Nair2

Child Development Services, Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS), Medical College, Calicut, India

1Prasanthi Centre for Developmental Disabilities, Calicut, India

2Child Development Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India

Indian J Psychiatry. 2011 Oct-Dec; 53(4): 336–339

Assessing the impact of computer-based training

Computers are for educators today what the lever was to Archimedes. “Give me a place to stand”, he ventured, “and I will move the Earth.”

Witnessing the way computers are changing and redefining our world for us, educators are seeking to use this great lever for improved outcomes in the classroom. But just what exactly can computer-based training do for students?

In a study in Kerala, South India, twenty-one children aged between 8 and 11 years, in classes 3, 4 or 5 formed the sample with 12 in the experimental (who underwent the computer-based training) and 9 in the control group (who did not undergo the training). Pre- and post-assessment was done for all children using a battery of intelligence tests, and the marks obtained by the child at school.

Assessment tools included Malin’s Intelligence Scale to gauge cognitive abilities before and after the program.

There was significant improvement in the performance of the experimental group in cognitive functioning and school marks, as compared with the children who did not have computer-aided training.

Changes in intellectual and academic performance of children following computer-based training: Preliminary results

Anita Rajah, K. R. Sundaram,1 and A. Anandkumar2

Department of Clinical Psychology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala, India

1Departmentof Bio-statistics, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala, India

2Department of Neurology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala, India

Indian J Psychiatry. 2011 Jul-Sep; 53(3): 249–252.

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