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Personal Development and Leadership Program in Education

Introduction

Education is a very important aspect of human development. An education system aims at providing people with knowledge and skills that would help them tackle day-to-day challenges. A good education should enable its citizens to be independent. The skills and knowledge acquired through the system should be reflected the social-economical aspects of the people. Education is not a reserve for a few. An education system should accommodate all individuals in society with educational needs. The concept of inclusive learning developed after the effects of excluding some groups in the society was realized (Brown, S. & Adams, 2006, p. 43).

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Wales has had a problem with some students not being able to continue with education past 16 years. There have also been challenges with students leaving learning institutions when not fully skills to face challenges in life. Learning Pathways 14-19 is a program that is aimed at addressing modern educational needs for the student between 14 and 19 and provides them with important skills to help them face new challenges in life. The paper reviews the implementation of the Personal Development and Leadership Programme in learning institutions.

Personal Development and Leadership Programme

This is a curriculum course developed by Development Skills for life aimed at providing students between the age of 14 and 19 with various skills. The course is aimed at helping the students achieve personal development. The course also aims at preparing the students for leadership roles by providing them with leadership skills. It is hoped that the course would prepare students for further studies as well as provide them with important life skills.

Personal Development and Leadership Programme developed after it was discovered that many students leave school without important interpersonal and leadership skills. Without these skills, the students experience various challenges as they go to their adulthood (Willis, 2009, p. 97). Many students also leave school without enough skills to allow them to secure employment opportunities. If the students are not able to proceed with education, then they experience difficulties when starting their lives into adulthood. Lack of adequate facilities has limited opportunities for young people to develop interpersonal skills and other important life skills.

Personal Development and Leadership Programme aim at bridging this gap and helps young individuals move into adulthood with confidence (National Assembly for Wales, 2004, p. 6). The program is flexible and takes into consideration the learning needs of the student to determine the content of the course. It makes use of education for the fun concept to encourage participation. Outdoor activities such and field study and training sessions are included in the program.

Difficulties in introducing the curriculum in institutions

Facilities

Personal Development and Leadership Programme is a learning inclusion program that aims at providing life skills to young students between the age of 14 and 19. Although the program has a high potential of helping students face challenges in the world, introducing the program could be challenged by the availability of facilities (Heitor & Conceicao, 2002, p. 418). The program requires such facilities as classrooms, buses for outdoor activities, and other essential facilities.

Introducing the program would lead to competition with other programs. Since the program is all-inclusive, there is the likelihood of pressure on an institution’s facilities. There would also be a conflict with other programs in the institution. Development Skills for life promise to organize facilities required for the program. Despite this, there is a likelihood of a lack of enough facilities to cater to all students that need the program.

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Resistance to the program

Although the national assembly and the government support the program, there is the likelihood of resistance to the program by individual institutions, parents, and students. Introducing a new program requires the support of all stakeholders (Bondi & Wiles, 2002, p. 61). In a new program, the program can experience some resistance. Some school and college administrators may fail to cooperate. Some of the outdoor activities may be viewed as too involving leading to resistance.

Experienced Trainers

Personal Development and Leadership Programme is a training-based program. The course intends to provide young people with skills that would help them handle current and future challenges. The approach to the course is, thus, different from other approaches used in other programs. Not all teachers are suitable for facilitating the program. Suitable trainers may be required to be trained on how to handle the course.

Curriculum Planning

Personal development and leadership are lifelong skills that should be introduced systematically. The program should accommodate all individuals in the age bracket. The program should accommodate both the students with high intellectual potential and those that are challenged. The program should also accommodate individuals with diverse training needs. The ability to accommodate diverse students and training needs is a challenge. The course is intended to be short. In the short period set aside for the course, participants may not be able to acquire the required skills (Welsh Assembly Government, 2005, p. 7). It should also be considered that the course is introduced into another program. Curriculum planning should ensure that any anticipated conflict with other programs is avoided.

Competition with other programs

The main objective of Learning Pathway 14-19 is to provide the youths with the necessary skills that they may require in their lives. The personal development and leadership program is intended to provide the participants with interpersonal and leadership skills that are necessary as a youth moves to adulthood. This program is just one of the programs aimed at the same goal. Other organizations that focus on youths also run similar programs. Competition with other institutions offering similar programs may hurt the program. The students may be divided on the program to join while is may lead to lower standards to the course.

STEEP Factors

There have been many changes in the country and the world. Social, technological, ecological, economic, and political changes necessitate a change in the education system (Vernousiou, 2003, p. 59). An education system should enable people to deal with various challenges that they face in their day-to-day lives (Welsh Assembly Government, 2007, p. 3). Since these challenges change with time, an education system should introduce new knowledge and skills necessary in dealing with the various changes. Personal development and Leadership program are designed with changes in social, technological, ecological, economic, and political factors in mind.

Social

There have been many changes in the social life of the people of Wales. Social changes have changed the way people live in their social lives and how they socialize. The course is designed to fit into the new social settings. The program recognizes the need to cooperate with the community in addressing social problems. It recognizes the need to strengthen learning and using education to solve problems in society. Educational institutions are owned by communities and should be instrumental in helping the communities to face current and future challenges. The course intends to tailor individual training needs with the educational system and social structure.

The program will enable young people to grow in confidence in their communities. They are also provided with skills that would enable them to be successful outside their communities. The course is directly directed towards youth and intends to open up more opportunities for them. The course takes into consideration the fact that social interaction has been severely affected by the lack of enough facilities and intends to offer opportunity social development.

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Technological

The course takes into consideration of technological advancement in the world. Technological advancement has a great influence on many aspects of life including education. Current technology is incorporated into the program. For example, current compasses and satellite systems are used in outdoor activities such as mountain climbing. Modern educational tools such as graphical presentations are incorporated into the program.

Ecological

Most of the activities are carried out outdoors. This allows the participants to experience the environment. They can be aware of environmental issues affecting their surrounding. Activities such as hiking and mountain climbing raise the consciousness of the environment and enable the participants to participate actively in environmental conservation. The course respects cultural diversity and enables participants to gain cultural intelligence and be able to interact smoothly with people of diverse cultures.

Economic

Economic changed in the world and the country requires new skills. Young people require new skills for them to be able to participate in economic activities. The country also requires the skill for it to remain economically significant in the region. The program bridges the gap between the education system and economic activities.

Political

The government has been undertaking reforms intended at streamlining the education system. The government and legislature have been interested in improving education for young people between 14 and 19 years of age. The government has a vision of having more than 95% of the youths in this age group acquire high education or skills that can enable them to acquire education.

Inclusive Learning practice in the program

Inclusive learning aim at enabling all individuals to acquire education irrespective of their circumstances or background (Smith & Armstrong, 2005, p. 8). Personal Development and Leadership Programme incorporate inclusive learning. The program is aimed at providing skills to all youths between the age of 14 and 19. The criteria for qualification for the program are open. Any youth within the age bracket can participate in the program.

Inclusive learning takes into consideration of accessibility, equality, and diversity. The three factors are well addressed in the Personal Development and Leadership Programme (The National Assembly for Wales, 2001, p. 9). The program is easily accessible across the country through collaboration with learning institutions. Any youth who intends to participate in the program can easily get a place to enroll. There is no discrimination or bias in choosing participants. All youths between 14 and 19 have equal opportunities to participate in the program. The program encourages diversity by encouraging the participation of diverse participants.

Conclusion

A good education system should help people face life challenges with confidence. The government of Wales has been committed to ensuring that the country’s education system enables its people to face their challenges. The main concern has been to ensure that young people between the age of 14 and 19 acquire important skills or proceed to higher education. Personal Development and Leadership Programme is a learning inclusion program that aims at offering life skills to the youths. The program, if well implemented, will prepare youths for adulthood.

Reference List

Bondi, J. & Wiles, J. 2002. “Curriculum development: a guide to practice”. London: Prentice Hall.

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Brown, S. & Adams, M. 2006. “Toward inclusive learning in higher education: developing curriculum”. New York: Routledge.

Heitor, M. & Conceicao, P. 2002. “Knowledge Interaction towards inclusive learning: Promoting systems of innovation and competence building”. Technological Forecasting & Social Change. Vol. 69. pp 641-651.

National Assembly for Wales. 2004. “Learning Pathways 14-19 Guidance”. Web.

Smith, V. & Armstrong, A. 2005. “Beyond prejudice inclusive learning in practice”. Web.

The National Assembly for Wales. 2001. “The Learning Country”. Web.

Vernousiou, R. 2003. “Steep analysis-United Kingdom”. Web.

Welsh Assembly Government. 2005. “A Skills and Employment Strategy and Action Plan”. Web.

Welsh Assembly Government. 2007. “The Learning Country: Vision into Action”. Web.

Willis, C. 2009. “Creating Inclusive Learning Environments for Young Children”. London: Corwin Press.

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