Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Management Studies

Well-Being Curriculum: Integrating Life Skills and Character Strengths

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Management Studies

Well-Being Curriculum: Integrating Life Skills and Character Strengths

Article excerpt

Positive behaviors started early in life can help children reap benefits for many years and the ideal place for such initiatives can be schools and colleges. Positive affect enhancing behaviors that are implemented in young age have a greater impact on the person's life because these positive behavioral experiences provide a constantly growing experiential base for future behavioural experiences with greater self awareness and emotional intelligence (Lyubomirsky, King, & Diener, 2005; White & Waters, 2014).

There are several reasons that justify to study well-being curriculum and it makes sense to include life skills and character strengths in the scientific pursuit of positive youth development precisely because it helps build personal resources for ensuring happiness, well-being, social integration and generativity as they are at a crucial stage in their life where social identity and belonging go hand in hand. Life skills and character strengths in adolescents have been also associated with desirable outcomes such as such as delay gratification, kindness and altruism (Scales et al., 2000) and also reduction of problems like sexual risk-taking, substance use, alcohol abuse, smoking, violence (Park, 2004b). Character education provides an antidote to youth depression, serves as a pathway to increased life satisfaction, promotes learning and creativity, enhances social cohesion, and promotes civic citizenship (Waters, 2011; quoted by Narula in her book Happiness Quotient, 2016).

Psychosocial development during this period will equip individuals with intrapersonal and interpersonal resources to facilitate adaptive negotiations of the complex adult world. These various notions about life skills and character strengths suggest that this package can be cultivated by good parenting, schooling, and socialization and that it becomes instantiated through habitual action. Continuous monitoring and journaling of progress and making a life style change are critical. Hence, this well-being curriculum shall begin a cycle that would actually attract healthy self esteem, a positive attitude and good things into one's life.

Life skills

The topic has been a significant area of interest to the researchers, theorists, and practitioners, and there have been numerous researches carried out to emphasize the importance and effectiveness of life skills education in the development of students' social, emotional and cognitive development and dealing with their psychosocial problems andissues.

Life Skills are nothing new. We use it in different situations, but has been categorized for better understanding. Life skills are a group of empowering skills that enable people to cope with life and its challenges and changes. Life skills support psychosocial well-being, promoting good communication, positive thinking, analytical skills and goal setting, cooperation and coping.

UNICEF defines Life Skills as "a behaviour change or behaviour development approach designed to address a balance of three areas: Knowledge, Attitudes and Skills".

According to WHO, Life skills have been defined as "the abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life".

The ten core (generic) Life Skills as listed by WHO are Self Awareness, Empathy, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Effective Communication, Interpersonal Relationships, Coping with Stress and Managing Emotions. These three basic categories are Social Skills, Emotional Skills, and Cognitive Skills.

* Social Skills include Communication Skills, Interpersonal Relationship, and Empathy.

* Cognitive Skills broadly incorporates Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Decision Making and Self Awareness.

* Emotional Skills include Coping with Stress and Coping with Emotions.

Strengthening life skills helps individuals and communities to manage challenges and risks, maximize opportunities and solve problems in co-operative, non-violent ways. …

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