Presentation on theme: "Youthreach Soft Skills Framework An initiative by"— Presentation transcript:
1 Youthreach Soft Skills Framework An initiative by Mary Gordon, NEPS & Co Meath VEC Youthreach Centres9;30
2 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.
3 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’ConnorMary Gordon, Senior Psychologist in the Department of Education and SkillsThis project is being supported by NEPS and Co Meath VEC
4 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)Starting from a notion of well-beingSoftskills - So what are we talking about?
5 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
6 The purpose of the Youthreach soft skills project To identify suitable pedagogical approaches and resources for teaching soft skills
7 The purpose of the Youthreach soft skills project To identify appropriate ways to measure learners’ progress in the development of soft skillsWhat are we doingWhy are we doing itWho are we doing it forWho is driving itWhy
8 The purpose of the Youthreach Soft Skills Project To identify appropriate ways to record and report on learners’ progress in relation to soft skills
9 What are soft skills?‘Soft skills’, ‘Key skills’ and ‘Key competencies’Soft skills continuumEducation and labour narket initiativesSoft skills are not so much identified, as constructed(This gives a central position to the question of the purpose and values underpinning the identification of these skills.)Hard to pin downTerms like ‘soft skills’, ‘key skills’ and ‘key competences’ used interchangeablyContinuum from content - or knowledge - focused skills (e.g. politeness) to personal qualities and dispositions (e.g. like empathy)Referred to in Education and/or Labour projectsInvolved in general and vocational systems and adult educationUsed by employer stakeholder bodies, sometimes with input from trade unionsAlso influenced by research in cognitive psychology and theories of learningAdult education focuses more on the development of the whole person, community and citizenVocational education is more geared towards labour-market readiness i.e. employabilitySoft skills are not so much identified, as constructedThis gives a central position to the question of the purpose and values underpinning the identification of these skills.
10 The rationale for identifying and teaching soft skills could be The empowerment of the learnerTo prepare the worker for the labour marketTo support the individualto become an effective citizento become an effective parent/family memberto live respectfully in a culturally diverse societyto have environmental awarenessSome or all of the aboveWhy are they so important?
11 The rationale for identifying and teaching soft skills Impacts on:The aim of the projectThe teaching methodsThe power dynamics between teacher and learnerThe areas chosen for assessmentHow assessment is doneChallenge to Traditional Teacher talks students listensEffects the way we teach, the motivation what we teach – hidden curriculum
12 Teaching soft skillsContextualising the skills in a meaningful situation and integrating them into other skills and activitiesThe fundamental issue may lie in the actual development or teaching of soft skills, rather than focusing only on their assessment.The absence of a set of signposts by which to assess soft skills has been a major obstacle for practitioners and for programmes.The ongoing teaching of soft skill in
13 Methodologies Having clarity about the specific skills being taught Using formal, non-formal and informal approachesRecognition … and therefore assessmentIn order to teach soft skills in deliberate ways teachers need to be clear about the specific skills they are encouraging and developing in their learners at any particular time.The methodologies they use may be formal or informal.Identifying specific skills to teach and thinking about how they will teach them also allows teachers to recognise when the skills are demonstrated by their learners and this facilitates their assessment and makes it more natural.
14 Assessing Soft SkillsInternational projects are concerned to measure soft skillsNot 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.Communication, Maths and IT are generally assessed through regular assessment processes and so are not under consideration here per se.The most common soft skills areas to feature are problem-solving, learning to learn and working with others.Areas close to designating personal dispositions or qualities are not widely assessed formally within the system but this does not necessarily mean that they are not assessed at all.Some stakeholders, e.g. employers in some countries, are very interested in the formal assessment of these areas (and certification, by the education system), for the purpose of facilitating recruitment.Certain areas are commonly considered to be difficult or impossible to assess.
15 Assessment of soft skills Identifying the gains made in the acquisition of soft skills‘Soft outcomes’ …?‘Soft indicators’ …?‘Distance travelled’ …?Soft outcomes are defined as those which, unlike hard outcomes cannot be measured directly or tangibly. They are:intangible, not concretesubjectivea matter of degree rather than absolutepersonal, depending on individual client needsintermediate (usually measuring progress towards hard outcomes such as employment and qualifications)The term soft indicators refers to the achievements which indicate acquisition or progress toward an outcome.Examples of soft indicators are:information and practical knowledgecoping mechanisms (such as anger management and solution-focused thinking)social behaviours appropriate to different situationsconfidenceless fearfulness about the unfamiliar or unknownself-protection skillsassertiveness and self-reliancehabits of forward planning, reliability and responsibility.The term distance travelled refers to the progress that is made towards the achievement of soft skills as a result of a project intervention or programme. While the acquisition of certain soft outcomes may seem insignificant for certain individuals, the leap forward in achieving these outcomes can be immense for others.Discuss
19 Soft skills framework Confidence Focus: On the self Power worldResponsibilityFocus: Onothers
20 Workshop 1 Divide into 3 groups Each group takes a domain and identifies some of the soft skill competencies involved in it10;10am mins longWhen started move to next slide
21 Soft skills frameworkCompetencies involve both awareness and acceptanceConfidenceawareness of andacceptance of theselfResponsibilitysensitivity towards and consideration for othersPowerknowledge of andappreciation for the world
23 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)Broader headingSkills – doingCompetency – doing and thinking / with a consciousness
24 Youthreach soft skills framework Competencies involve:ValuesAwarenessSkillsThe values are the principles that underpin the Youthreach programme – why we want learners to increase their confidence, sense of responsibility and power. They are based on the notion of value that we – as practitioners in Youthreach – place on the young people, on others and on the world so that we want the learners to accept themselves, treat others with consideration and see the world as a place to be curious about, explore, enjoy and safeguard.Each competency involves awareness on the part of the learner – of the self, of other people and of the worldThe skills have been identified as:Life SkillsSelf-Regulation SkillsSocial Skills
25 Soft skills framework Competencies as overlapping Confidence Power Responsibility
26 Soft skills framework Skills as overlapping Confidence Power Responsibility
27 Soft skills framework Domains Competencies Skills The self Confidence The selfConfidenceSelf-awareness and -managementLife skillsSelf-regulation skillsOthersResponsibilitySocial awareness and effectivenessSocial skillsThe worldPowerKnowledge of and effectiveness in the world
28 Divide into 3 groups again Workshop 2Divide into 3 groups againIn each group explore under the headings what skills might be demonstrated by a learner in each area of competency12;15pm mins longWhen started move to next slide and give out handout for workshop 2
29 Soft skills framework Domains Competencies Skills Others The world The selfAwareness of selfManagement of selfLifeCan look after self in practical ways e.g. presentation, sexual healthCan ask for helpCan have fun with othersCan make decisions and plans to benefit self and advance life goalsSelf-regulationCan recognise emotionsCan cope with adverse circumstancesCan manage interactions with othersCan be assertiveCan exercise control over substancesCan put in effort and motivate selfOthersAwareness of othersEffectiveness with othersCan manage emotions e.g. anger, jealousy, exuberance, anxietyCan restrain impulsivityCan take responsibility for own actionsCan decentre and notice othersCan observe rulesSocialCan understand where others are coming fromCan take care of othersCan empathise with othersCan communicate effectively in social situationsThe worldKnowledge of the worldEffectiveness in the worldCan work cooperatively with othersCan deal effectively with people in formal and semi-formal situationsCan follow instructions from othersCan keep own wordCan manage othersCan solve a range of practical problemsCan access information and use itCan employ learning strategiesCan locate self within the wider world and understand its structures, practices and rulesCan think about and evaluate social and political matters or events
31 Teaching soft skills Focus: The self Goal: To develop confidence Competencies involved include: Emotional literacy, a sense of identity, a sense of purposeSkills: Life skillsCan look after self in practical ways e.g. self-presentation, sexual healthCan ask for helpCan make decisions and plans to benefit self and advance life goalsCan have fun with othersCan recognise and place value on won achievementsCan look after self in practical ways e.g. self-presentation, sexual healthCan make decisions and plans to benefit self and advance life goalsCan place value on own achievementsCan weigh up risks and decide how to act accordinglyCan solve a range of practical problems
32 Teaching soft skills Focus: The self Goal: To develop confidence Competencies include: Emotional literacy, a sense of identity, a sense of purposeSkills: Self-regulation skillsCan recognise emotionsCan express emotions appropriatelyCan acknowledge own needsCan be assertive without being aggressiveCan cope with adverse circumstancesCan manage anxiety and try out new experiencesCan put in effort and motivate self
33 Teaching soft skills Focus: Others Goal: To develop responsibility Competencies include: Social sensitivity, a sense of connectedness, a capacity for empathySkills Self-regulation skillsCan manage emotions (e.g. anger, jealousy, exuberance, anxiety)Can restrain impulsivityCan take responsibility for own actionsCan notice how others are feelingCan take account of othersCan observe rulesCan handle criticism
34 Teaching soft skills Focus: Others Goal: To develop responsibility Competencies include: Social sensitivity, a sense of connectedness, a capacity for empathySkills Social skillsCan understand where others are coming fromCan de-centre and observe others’ experienceCan take care of othersCan empathise with othersCan listenCan communicate effectively in social situationsCan manage and resolve conflicts
35 Teaching soft skills Focus: The world Goal: To develop power Competencies include: Relational awareness, ability to decentre the self, curiositySkills: Social skillsCan work cooperatively with othersCan deal effectively with people in formal and semi-formal situationsCan be punctual and reliableobserve social rules and nicetiesCan keep own wordCan lead othersCan manage others
36 Teaching soft skills Focus: The World Goal: To develop power Competencies include: relational awareness, ability to decentre the self, curiositySkills: Life skillsCan solve a range of practical problemsCan access information and use itCan employ learning strategiesCan understand the structures, practices and rules that apply in the wider worldCan locate self within the wider worldCan think about and evaluate social and political matters or events
38 1234567891010 point rating scaleThe 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 9.2;30pmThe 10-point rating scale is not envisaged as an equal-interval measure. The distance between the lower numbers is greater than between the higher numbers. For example the move from 1 to 2 is considerably greater than from 8 to 9. This is because soft skills build cumulatively – the more a young person has the more easily they can acquire new ones. The biggest challenge for a centre is often to begin the process of soft skills development, moving a learner from their initial low levels of self-regulation, social interaction and practical capability. This way of conceptualising the ten-point scale is illustrated by the following figure
40 Template Page 2Plan for addressing improvement in the rating assigned to each student
41 Recording soft skills Record includes both Quantitative rating and Qualitative description (reason for rating)Meaning of ratingA collaborative decisionRating valuesSlower progress at firstBut greater achievement
42 Planning Template records rating and reason for rating Template also records plan – link to teaching
43 Measuring progressTemplates over time show progress made by each individual (distance travelled)Reasons for ratings identify soft indicators and imply soft outcomesTotal templates over time show achievement of centre
44 Pilot project in Co Meath Youthreach centres Piloted in 2012 in six centresVery positive evaluation from centresNext step: Role out in other VEC areasNew context of SolasNeed for “metrics”2;45pm