Monday, March 7, 2016

Curriculum for a life skills course

This is a list of topics to be dealt with in high school curricula.  I originally wrote this back in 2007 or 2008, but I don't think I posted it publicly anywhere.  Some of these things may be taught in health classes, but not all of them.

·                        Personal & business ethics;
·                        Developmental psychology, so future citizens know how to raise our children without abusing them [e.g. we're constantly reading stories of parents who murder small children over toilet training issues or by shaking them when they're babies -- likely all due to ignorance of child development; and it would be good to learn to recognize learning and emotional issues such as those exhibited Asperger's Syndrome, dyslexia, ADD, mood disorders and the like and know how to address them proactively from the start;
·                        Relationship and negotiating skills, so future citizens know how to deal with spouses, other family members, co-workers (including supervisors, colleagues, and subordinates), competitors, neighbors, and friends;
·                        Time & money management;
·                        Career planning;
·                        What to expect physically and psychologically as you age;
·                        Basic first aid and recognizing dangerous health symptoms;
·                        Dealing with personal crises: family and personal illness, loss of job, loss or illness of family members; and

·                        Personal physical fitness and nutrition programs, for lifelong health in an aging body.

I became interested in this topic, partly because I served as a volunteer in my school district on the committees where decisions were made regarding programs for special needs kids.  I learned that life skills were taught to students with intellectual disabilities, but not to kids without disabilities.  Why?  I don't think kids normally absorb all the life skills they need, especially now that they're always glued to the computer.

Later, I got interested in these topics as a possible curriculum for a course to be taught in college.  I certainly didn't have a good grasp on these topics by the time I graduated.  I probably still don't.

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