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Acquisition of Life Skills – a Challenge for School Curriculum. Dr. hab. paed., p rof. Tatjana Koķe Minister of Education and Science Republic of Latvia. Changes. Development of Learning Society. IT development. Globalisation. Changes in organization culture.

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acquisition of life skills a challenge for school curriculum

Acquisition of Life Skills – a Challenge for School Curriculum

Dr.hab.paed., prof. Tatjana Koķe

Minister of Education and Science Republic of Latvia


Development of Learning Society

IT development


Changes in organization culture

paradoxes of contemporary society 1
Paradoxes of Contemporary Society (1)

Globalization of economics strengthens in education policy tendency for individualisation

Hierarchical structure of educational system, practise of classroom instruction serves as a barrier for creativity, responsibility, decision-making ability. The shift should be done from hierarchy to competence

The more people use different complicated technologies, the more there is a need for paying attention to the issues of illiteracy and lack of basic skills. Thus, their participation in community life and employability is threatened.

Growing share of investments in education do not support tendency of social inclusion.

paradoxes of contemporary society 2
Paradoxes of Contemporary Society (2)

Ongoing processes in the contemporary society create disparities among schools and question common standards for quality of education.

Social polarization of individuals is growing regardless age or place of residence.

Individual’s needs within contemporary society more and more alienates learning from traditional education. Namely, contemporary learning should provide more flexible and transferable skills that help an individual in a short period of time and resources to adapt and demonstrate self-efficacy within constant changes .

paradoxes of contemporary society 3
Paradoxes of Contemporary Society (3)
  • Prevaling consumers’ culture has to be shifted towards the culture of co-responsibility. Emphases on responsibility and evidence-based decision making for individuals quality of life and better society (Learning society instead of consumer society)
  • Since year 2000 accumulated information doubles in 73 days. Information and knowledge booming has increased a demand for quick learning as lifelong and lifewide process
tasks for education
Tasks for education

Not to learn by heart the information, but to develop skills for finding and implementing it, thus providing balance between theoretical knowledge and life skills to live in the real world and to solve concrete life’s tasks

To provide opportunities for students to deal with controversial issues and different loyalties

Along with routine cognitive skills (reading, writing, numeracy) to develop non-routine analytic and social/ interactive skills

Expand learning from clasroom to comunity and society wide

Focus from individual learning to learning organization through implementation of team-work, shared responsibilities, etc

t he heart of the matter
The heart of the matter

Life skills Learning Society


curriculum reform in latvia
Curriculum reform in Latvia

Competence-based curriculum according to standards in basic (early 1990-ies) and secondary education (2008)

Interrelation and integration of content eliminating duplication and fragmentation

Diversification of teaching methods

education domains

“Man and society”,


“Technology and sciences”.

Education Domains
s chool curriculum shift from knowledge as a learning outcome to sk i lls orientated outcome
School curriculum shift from knowledge as a learning outcome to Skills-orientated outcome


The aim of the method: to foster the development of pupils’ life skills

Fairy tale

Once upon a time there lived a young man who was in love with a beautiful and very capricious girl. One day she said to him: “You don’t love me strongly enough. If I turn into a rose, you won’t even be able to recognize me among other roses.” The young man, though surprised, hurried to calm her down: “You are so special that I will find you among all the roses in the world.”

“Well, then early in the morning I will go to the garden and turn into a rose similar to those ones which grow there, and stand among them. If you come there in a while and figure out that very rose, it will be the best proof of your love,” said the girl.

The puzzled young man had to agree. The next morning he managed to recognize the rose into which his sweetheart had turned into.

Give the explanation how he did it?

the answer
The answer

Only that very rose didn’t have dew on its petals.

The rest of roses had dew on them as all the night they had stood outside and when the aircooled down, the water molecules, containing in the air got condensed and gathered on the surface of the roses forming water drops - morning dew.

learning outcomes
Learning outcomes
  • Pupils comprehend how and where in life they can use the knowledge and skills acquired in school.
  • Pupils’ inventiveness, attention and logical thinking in problem solving isdemonstrated.
  • Pupils create and implement new ideas.
  • Pupilsdevelop holistic perception of life, etc.

To use more interactive, research methods in order to promote pupil’s creativity and search of the innovative solutions

Practical application of theoretical knowledge: to bring the study process and School curriculum nearer to life

To develop collaboration between girls and boys to work together in the common projects to one gender’s abilities can supplement to other one.

To acquaint with lifelong learning’s ideas as early is possible, already in the elementary educational stage, focusing onskills for living in Learning society.

“We belong to the first generation that knows for certain that it doesn’t know what the future will be like”

/Sir Christopher Ball/