In the modern economy, life skills have become more fundamental to success than ever before.
besides laying strong academic foundations, we help students develop these life skills in an integrated manner.
Why are life skills important?
A few decades ago, schools could reasonably expect that knowledge they transferred to students would remain relevant for a lifetime. Today, in our rapidly changing world, students need to be prepared for jobs that have not yet been created, technologies not yet invented, and challenges entirely unanticipated.
When nothing is predictable except change, our schools must help foster a very different skill set in our children: the ability to adapt, the ability to work collaboratively, the ability to be self-aware and the ability to keep learning new things.
Life Skills Predict Success
The smartest children in class aren’t necessarily the most successful. Decades of research have shown that prodigious talent alone does not guarantee greatness. Instead, what matters for success in life and career — above and beyond talent — are traits like perseverance, self-awareness and self-confidence. However, our schools focus their attentions on academics and rarely help build these critical life skills.
What are some critical life skills?
Grit is the combination of passion and perseverance required to achieve long term aspirations. It entails working patiently towards personally meaningful goals, maintaining effort and intensity for a significant period of time, and not being weighed down by adversity.
The gritty individual approaches success as a marathon; her advantage is stamina and a deep love for the mission. Whereas disappointment or boredom signals to others that it is time to change trajectory and move on, the gritty individual stays the course. For success in life, as much as talent matters, effort matters twice as much.
Research has demonstrated that how individuals perceive their own abilities (their “mindset”) plays a key role in their achievements in life.
Individuals with fixed mindsets believe that talents are innate and cannot be improved; thus, they avoid taking risks, only try things at which they believe they are naturally good, and prioritise outcomes over the journey. By contrast, people with growth mindsets believe they can develop any skill if they put their minds to it. They prioritise learning in depth over superficial knowledge, see effort as a key to success and adapt quickly. Research shows that individuals with growth mindsets outperform in work and life.
How do we inculcate Life Skills?
Life skills training is intrinsic to PEP’s personalised education paths, and developing these skills is an explicit objective of learning. Our goal setting process (in consultation with both parents and children) ensures that children define ambitious long-term goals and work relentlessly towards achieving them. It also helps children identify and reflect on their own life skills in a structured manner.
Our educators make life skills development an integral part of everyday school life. They work individually with children to help them become self-aware, enjoy challenges, prioritise effort over outcomes, and to accept failures as an integral part of learning. At PEP, our educators actively model life-skills and serve as living examples of these traits.
At PEP, we believe that learning happens anytime, anywhere. Building life skills especially requires a unified effort between parents and educators.
Identifying gaps and reviewing the child’s progress on their life skills is a core component of parent-educator meetings. To keep the learning going on at home, we offer suggestions and tips to parents on how to further enhance learning.