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Life Skills Education and Learning

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Elena Reilly

on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of Life Skills Education and Learning

Life Skills Education and Learning in the Post-2015 Agenda
Content, adaptation, planning and budgeting at school and national levels
Monitoring and Evaluation
Linking to global efforts to measure learning, especially social-emotional learning and 21st Century Skill Sets. Building the evidence base on LSE. Migrating national assessments to higher order thinking rather than rote memorization.
Curriculum and Instruction
New Research: Formative and Summative Assessment
Effective assessments need to be linked to teaching (Global Compact on Learning)
Formative assessment enhances skill-building when: (1) used to clarify learning goals to students; (2) monitor, provide feedback, and respond to student progress; (3) involves students in self-and peer-assessment (Pellegrino and Hilton 2012).
Global efforts should focus on migrating summative national assessments to address higher level thinking (p21.org)
Global Evaluation
The 2012 Global Evaluation of Life Skills Education (GELSE) included desk review of documents from 40 country offices, in-depth case studies of 7 countries, and surveys
Findings and recommendations centered on relevance, coverage, efficiency, and effectiveness and are included in corresponding discussion points throughout this presentation
In 2012-2013, the Board has asked UNICEF to respond to major recommendations of the GELSE
21st Century Skills
Evolving technologies, global challenges and changing economies demand new skills
Basic skill requirements and foundational literacy need to reflect ICT prevalence (UNESCO May 2012) Girls and other marginalized populations disproportionately experience an e-literacy gap (UNESCO 2012)
21st Century Skill taxonomies overlap with LSE (critical thinking, teamwork) while suggesting new skills such as creativity, innovation and self-direction (p21 May 2012)
Education for Employment
In 2012, close to 75 million young people were out of work (ILO 2012) and/or excluded from the social benefits that formal employment provides
Adolescents and youth express frustration that personal and familial sacrifices for education do not lead to employment
Employers cites the importance of non-cognitive behavioural (life) skills as critical to success but felt that those skills were not taught effectively in schools (Results for Development 2012)
Life Skills Education
Continuing inequities around access and achievement
Key actors promote skill-building (foundational, technical, and life skills) for young people as critical to equity in the post 2015 agenda (Save the Children 2013 and LMTR 2013)
Global dialogue calls attention to girls or others experiencing "mutually reinforcing disadvantages" (UN Task Team) such as girl urban slum dwellers, indigenous etc.
Global Frameworks
What's next for UNICEF?
GELSE Recommendations
UNICEF should develop guidelines for understanding and addressing social norms and religious contexts that are likely to affect implementation, and advice on how advocacy should proceed within that context.
UNICEF should recognize and support national plans to build capacity at institutional, organizational and personal levels to lead and support life skills education.
FRESH: Indicators at national and school levels
Draft Indicators
Existence, quality and dissemination of a comprehensive national-level LSE policy.
Percentage of schools that have comprehensive LSE school policies.
The extent to which national policies address needs and priorities of children
The extent to which national plans address social norms
The extent to which children know, understand and contribute to school policies
The extent to which policies are known and understood by parents and communities
Access +Learning. Addressing the "Skills Mismatch." Seizing the ITC and Innovation Opportunity. Education for Equity. Health and sexuality education. Strategies for Meta/Cognition. Peacebuilding. Discussion points for UNICEF to consider while identifying outcomes for Life Skills Education and charting a course Post-2015.
New Research: What effective skill-building looks like in the classroom
Using multiple and varied representations of concepts and tasks
Encouraging elaboration, questioning and explanation
Engaging Learners in Challenging Tasks
Teaching with Examples and Cases
Priming Student Motivation
Using Formative Assessments
A Step-By-Step Approach to Training
Emphasizing Active Forms of Learning and Allowing Practice
Specific Time and Attention on Skill-Building
Clearly Defining Goals and Expectations
Pellegrino 2013, 21
GELSE Recommendations
Specific emphasis should be placed on identifying and addressing the needs of marginalised and excluded groups in curricula and learning materials.
UNICEF needs to support national curricula that are more child-friendly, focused on equity and meet the real life needs of all children.
LSE should, wherever possible, be integrated within the school curriculum so that it is not perceived as an add-on.
How to effectively teach life skills?
Planning and Policy
Coverage of LSE in Formal and Non-Formal Education
Proposed Indicator Framework
Policy and Planning (adapted from FRESH)
Existence, quality and dissemination of a comprehensive national-level LSE policy.
Percentage of schools that have comprehensive LSE school policies.
Curriculum and Instruction (adapted from FRESH)
Priority content and skill-building pedagogy are present in national guidance for school curricula, teacher training and learning assessments.
Percentage of schools that provide regular skills-based health education sessions as recommended in the national guidance.
Safe Learning Environments (adapted from FRESH)
Existence of national school safety standards addressing the physical, socioemotional and skill-building school environment
Percentage of schools that meet the national school safety standards (physicaland socio-emotional).
Existence, quality and dissemination of national guidelines and standards for non-formal life skills education
Percentage of out-of-school children participating in LSE through non-formal interventions
National and School
Safe Learning Environments
Schools that support skill- building
Life Skills and Outcomes for Children
Based on LSE literature from the 1990s-until present, LSE supports children to build one or more of the following skills in age-appropriate sequence:
Communicate effectively
Resist and refuse unhealthy choices
Cooperate and work in teams
Manage their emotions and understand the emotions of others
Solve problems and conflicts peacefully
Think creatively and critically
Set goals and persist to achieve goals

Tackling the Skills Mismatch
New Opportunities and Demands
While 89 percent of primary age children are in school, it is unclear how much they learn or how relevant that learning is (UNESCO and Brookings Institute February 2013)
250 million children are unable to write, read or count up to minimum standards (UNESCO 2012)
Children must be learning for benefits of school to accure (LMTR, Draft 2013)
Growing concern about the "results of learning and their social distribution" (UNESCO May 2012)
Global focus on results of schooling
The Global and Organizational Ecosystem for LSE
Life skills for Adolescents
Health Promotion
Sexuality Education and HIV
Life Skills Education at UNICEF
Draft Indicators
Understanding age-appropriate sequencing of life skills. Addressing out of school learners in Alternate Learning Programmes (ALPs) or other sectoral programmes. Coordinating, supporting, monitoring and evaluating out-of-school approaches.
Non-formal LSE interventions are playing an important role in reaching out-of-school children and to a holistic approach. It is recommended that support be given to improving coordination for non-formal LSE interventions at national and local levels.
UNICEF should support national plans to integrate quality assurance, monitoring and evaluation processes and tools for life skills education among those partners implementing non-formal interventions.
Issues to Consider: Life Skills for out-of-school
Particularly important for post-primary education and adolescents given retention challenges in primary
Many non-formal interventions promote life skills as a component of another sectoral programme (health, protection, livelihoods, civic participation, etc)
Non-formal programmes may benefit from aspects that facilitate skill-building (fewer curricular demands, peer education, youth networks, more experience with marginalized groups, etc) that could cross-fertilize formal education approaches to LSE
GELSE Recommendations
UNICEF and partners should take a lead in developing the taxonomy of the learning outcomes of LSE interventions that includes both the psychosocial skills and the knowledge associated with the major themes.
UNICEF should develop standards for expected results and outcomes at individual, school and national levels.
UNICEF should review progress on LSE systematically, and make use of an analytical framework that asks about critical elements of design and implementation.
These skills contribute to the goal of children who:
Are healthy and remain healthy
Learn what they need to succeed
Respect their rights and those of others
Make positive contributions to their societies
Discussion Point: Do these skills and outcomes resonate for UNICEF post 2015?
Post 2015: Refers to the ongoing development agenda at the expiry of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
LSE: Life Skills Education
CSE: Comprehensive Sexuality Assessment
GELSE: Global Evaluation of Life Skills Education undertaken by UNICEF
LMTF: Learning Metrics Task Force, a Task Force convened by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics
FRESH: Focusing Resources on School Health Consortium
PBEA: Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy Programme
ALPs: Alternate Learning Programmes

Conflict-Sensitive Education and Resilience
Children in conflict-affected states are more than three times as likely to be unable to go to school (World Bank 2011)
Article 29 of the CRC
Significant overlap between Life Skills, Social and Emotional Learning, and the PBEA goal of “strengthened policies and practices in education for peacebuilding in conflict-affected environments.”
Skill-building and priority content are present in national guidance for school curricula, teacher training and learning assessments.
Percentage of schools that provide regular skill-building sessions, as recommended in the national guidance.
Frequency of teaching, accuracy and age-appropriate expression in curricula

Adapting LSE for relevance. Reflecting the needs and priorities of children for skill-building. Analysis and action planning around social norms.
21st Century Skill Framework
Learning Metrics Task Force:
Life skills embedded across learning domains
Draft Indicators and Discussion
Existence, quality and dissemination of national guidelines and standards for non-formal life skills education
Percentage of out-of-school children participating in LSE through non-formal interventions
Guidelines and standards should reflect successful LSE practices developed in NFE
Draft Indicators for Discussion
Existence of national school safety standards addressing the socioemotional and skill-building school environment
Percentage of schools that meet the national school safety standards (socio-emotional and skill-building).
GELSE Recommendations
UNICEF should consider integrating life skills education into the child-friendly schools programming strategy, child-friendly schools being the vehicle to carry UNICEF’s rights mandate into education.
Incorporating skill-building pedagogy and content into curricula and assessments. Teaching and learning for skill-building. Training and professional development for skill-building and higher order thinking.
New evidence shows that integrated health, LSE and livelihood skills for adolescent girls improve health outcomes (HIV knowledge) and lead to behaviour change (reported condom use) and reduce GBV (girls were more likely to resist sex against their will). (World Bank Presentation at 2012 Youth Economic Opportunities Conference)
In 2013, the FRESH consortium updated their M&E framework to provide guidance on integrating health and HIV prevention into educational policy and practice at the national and school levels (FRESH 2013)
New Research: Which Skills and Why?
Updating life skills traditionally used by life skills based health education to reflect 21st century and livelihood skills
Include cognition and metacognition
These include: resilience or "grit," persistence, critical decision-making, flexibility, creativity (LMTF 2013)
Good Practices: Policy to Practice
Significant gaps remain in translating "policy frameworks into costed operational strategies and guidance, supported with nation-wide coordination and M&E mechanism for enforcing/reinforcing multi-sectoral implementation." This refers to CSE but would equally apply to LSE. (ESA Diagnostic Report June 2013)
Reinforces the importance of capacity-building for planning, costing, and implementation
National standards and capacity building to support schools create positive skills-building environments, linking to CFS standards

M&E and Tools
Monitoring should be linked to: policy, instruction, environment, and coverage.
Tools to include:
Checklists (see FRESH 2013)
National Standards
Formative assessments across learning across skills/learning domains
Summative assessments across skills/learning domains
Working and Reference Groups to update goals and learning outcomes at the individual levels
Review and strengthen indicators and sub-indicators
Create complementary guidance as necessary to enhance M&E and drive quality imrpovement
Additional steps?
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