Youthreach soft skills framework
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Youthreach soft skills framework. Culmination of years of work by practitioners working directly in Youthreach or providing services to Youthreach.

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Youthreach soft skills framework

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Youthreach soft skills framework

Youthreach soft skills framework

Culmination of years of work by practitioners working directly in Youthreach or providing services to Youthreach.

The rationale for the project is to direct attention to the personal and social skills that form a core part of the programme and a major part of the work of centres.


Youthreach soft skills framework1

Youthreach soft skills framework

  • Representatives of the six Youthreach centres in Co Meath:

    Vivienne Branigan, Vanessa Connell, Aaron Fowler, Eileen Gargan, Fiona Graham, Alan Larkin, Liz Lavery, Enda McDonnell, David O’Connor

  • Mary Gordon, Senior Psychologist in the Department of Education and Skills

  • This project is being supported by NEPS and Co Meath VEC


Soft skills and well being

Soft skills and well-being

A person’s well-being relates to their physical, social and mental state. It requires that basic needs are met, that people have a sense of purpose, that they feel able to achieve important goals, to participate in society and to live the lives they value and have reason to value. People’s well-being is enhanced by conditions that include financial and personal security, meaningful and rewarding work, supportive personal relationships, strong and inclusive communities, good health, a healthy and attractive environment, and values of democracy and social justice. (NESC, 2009, p. 138)


The purpose of the youthreach soft skills project

The purpose of the Youthreach soft skills project

  • To identify the range of soft skills that are relevant to the work of centres and to locate these on a framework


The purpose of the youthreach soft skills project1

The purpose of the Youthreach soft skills project

  • To identify suitable pedagogical approaches and resources for teaching soft skills


The purpose of the youthreach soft skills project2

The purpose of the Youthreach soft skills project

  • To identify appropriate ways to measure learners’ progress in the development of soft skills


The purpose of the youthreach soft skills project3

The purpose of the Youthreach Soft Skills Project

  • To identify appropriate ways to record and report on learners’ progress in relation to soft skills


What are soft skills

What are soft skills?

  • ‘Soft skills’, ‘Key skills’ and ‘Key competencies’

  • Soft skills continuum

  • Education and labour narket initiatives

  • Soft skills are not so much identified, as constructed

    (This gives a central position to the question of the purpose and valuesunderpinning the identification of these skills.)


The rationale for identifying and teaching soft skills could be

The rationale for identifying and teaching soft skills could be

  • The empowerment of the learner

  • To prepare the worker for the labour market

  • To support the individual

    • to become an effective citizen

    • to become an effective parent/family member

    • to live respectfully in a culturally diverse society

    • to have environmental awareness

      Some or all of the above


The rationale for identifying and teaching soft skills

The rationale for identifying and teaching soft skills

Impacts on:

  • The aim of the project

  • The teaching methods

  • The power dynamics between teacher and learner

  • The areas chosen for assessment

  • How assessment is done


Teaching soft skills

Teaching soft skills

  • Contextualising the skills in a meaningful situation and integrating them into other skills and activities

  • The fundamental issue may lie in the actual development or teaching of soft skills, rather than focusing only on their assessment.


Methodologies

Methodologies

  • Having clarity about the specific skills being taught

  • Using formal, non-formal and informal approaches

  • Recognition … and therefore assessment


Assessing soft skills

Assessing Soft Skills

  • International projects are concerned to measure soft skills

    • Not academic learning per se…

    • But things like problem-solving, learning to learn and working with others.

    • Certain areas are commonly considered to be difficult or impossible to assess.


Assessment of soft skills

Assessment of soft skills

Identifying the gains made in the acquisition of soft skills

  • ‘Soft outcomes’ …?

  • ‘Soft indicators’ …?

  • ‘Distance travelled’ …?


A soft skills framework

A soft skills framework


Youthreach soft skills framework

Soft skills framework

3 key competencies

Confidence

Power

Responsibility


Youthreach soft skills framework

Soft skills framework

3 domains

The self

Others

The world


Youthreach soft skills framework

Soft skills framework

Responsibility

Focus:On

others

Confidence

Focus: On

the self

Power

Focus: On the

world


Workshop 1

Workshop 1

Divide into 3 groups

Each group takes a domain and identifies some of the soft skill competencies involved in it


Youthreach soft skills framework

Soft skills framework

Competencies involve both awareness and acceptance

Confidence

awareness of and

acceptance of the

self

Responsibility

sensitivity towards and consideration for others

Power

knowledge of and

appreciation for the world


Youthreach soft skills framework

Soft skills framework

Competencies involve skills

Confidence

Life skills

Self-regulation skills

Responsibility

Self-regulation skills

Social skills

Power

Social skills

Life skills


Competencies versus skills

Competencies versus skills

“From a strictly conceptual viewpoint, competence has a broader meaning than skill and many analysts consider a competence to include several skills. If we accept that distinction, then the concept of competence should be considered as broader, more general and a higher level of cognition and complexity than the concept skill.” (Tiana, 2004)


Youthreach soft skills framework2

Youthreach soft skills framework

Competencies involve:

  • Values

  • Awareness

  • Skills


Youthreach soft skills framework

Soft skills framework

Competencies as overlapping

Confidence

Power

Responsibility


Youthreach soft skills framework

Soft skills framework

Skills as overlapping

Confidence

Power

Responsibility


Youthreach soft skills framework

Soft skills framework


Workshop 2

Workshop 2

Divide into 3 groups again

In each group explore under the headings what skills might be demonstrated by a learner in each area of competency


Youthreach soft skills framework

Soft skills framework


Teaching soft skills1

Teaching soft skills


Teaching soft skills2

Teaching soft skills

Focus: The self

Goal: To develop confidence

Competencies involved include: Emotional literacy, a sense of identity, a sense of purpose

Skills: Life skills

  • Can look after self in practical ways e.g. self-presentation, sexual health

  • Can ask for help

  • Can make decisions and plans to benefit self and advance life goals

  • Can have fun with others

  • Can recognise and place value on won achievements


Teaching soft skills3

Teaching soft skills

Focus: The self

Goal: To develop confidence

Competencies include: Emotional literacy, a sense of identity, a sense of purpose

Skills: Self-regulation skills

  • Can recognise emotions

  • Can express emotions appropriately

  • Can acknowledge own needs

  • Can be assertive without being aggressive

  • Can cope with adverse circumstances

  • Can manage anxiety and try out new experiences

  • Can put in effort and motivate self


Teaching soft skills4

Teaching soft skills

Focus: Others

Goal: To develop responsibility

Competencies include: Social sensitivity, a sense of connectedness, a capacity for empathy

Skills Self-regulation skills

Can manage emotions (e.g. anger, jealousy, exuberance, anxiety)

  • Can restrain impulsivity

  • Can take responsibility for own actions

  • Can notice how others are feeling

  • Can take account of others

  • Can observe rules

  • Can handle criticism


Teaching soft skills5

Teaching soft skills

Focus: Others

Goal: To develop responsibility

Competencies include: Social sensitivity, a sense of connectedness, a capacity for empathy

Skills Social skills

  • Can understand where others are coming from

  • Can de-centre and observe others’ experience

  • Can take care of others

  • Can empathise with others

  • Can listen

  • Can communicate effectively in social situations

  • Can manage and resolve conflicts


Teaching soft skills6

Teaching soft skills

Focus: The world

Goal: To develop power

Competencies include: Relational awareness, ability to decentre the self, curiosity

Skills: Social skills

  • Can work cooperatively with others

  • Can deal effectively with people in formal and semi-formal situations

  • Can be punctual and reliable

  • observe social rules and niceties

  • Can keep own word

  • Can lead others

  • Can manage others


Teaching soft skills7

Teaching soft skills

Focus: The World

Goal: To develop power

Competencies include: relational awareness, ability to decentre the self, curiosity

Skills: Life skills

  • Can solve a range of practical problems

  • Can access information and use it

  • Can employ learning strategies

  • Can understand the structures, practices and rules that apply in the wider world

  • Can locate self within the wider world

  • Can think about and evaluate social and political matters or events


Rating planning and recording progress

Rating, planning and recording progress


10 point rating scale

8

9

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

10 point rating scale

10

The 10-point rating scale is not envisaged as an equal-interval measure. For example the move from 1 to 2 could be considerably greater than from 8 to 9.


Template page 1

TemplatePage 1


Template page 2

TemplatePage 2


Recording soft skills

Recording soft skills

Record includes both

  • Quantitative rating and

  • Qualitative description (reason for rating)

    Meaning of rating

  • A collaborative decision

    Rating values

  • Slower progress at first

  • But greater achievement


Planning

Planning

Template records rating and reason for rating

Template also records plan – link to teaching


Measuring progress

Measuring progress

  • Templates over time show progress made by each individual (distance travelled)

  • Reasons for ratings identify soft indicators and imply soft outcomes

  • Total templates over time show achievement of centre


Pilot project in co meath youthreach centres

Pilot project in Co Meath Youthreach centres

  • Piloted in 2012 in six centres

  • Very positive evaluation from centres

  • Next step: Role out in other VEC areas

  • New context of Solas

  • Need for “metrics”


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