In the previous section of this blog we had discussed about four important life-skills and the role of education in the acquisition of those life-skills. It had been rightly said that education is a means to modify human behavior.
Let’s talk about some other life-skills which, if acquired, could lead to the development of a stable and competent personality.
- Effective Communication: Effective communication is the act of conveying a message from one entity to another through some language, signs and symbols. Effective communication is a skill which does not usually comes naturally; rather it is acquired through education. Communication is not all about speaking but a lot about listening. Education enables an individual to become a good speaker and an even better listener. Communication is paramount in education. Education brings about knowledge and awareness regarding various trends and issues which helps to rationalize the presentation skills and therefore it provides a great impetus to enhance communication skills.
- Interpersonal Relationships: Interpersonal relationships in the context of education include a wide range of relations between peer groups, teachers and students. The strength of such relations is responsible for creating healthy developments of students as well as teachers. Positive teacher-taught relationships contribute to students’ learning as well. Apart from educational relationships, there is a wide variety of relationships including friends, family and colleagues. These relationships demand stability which can be assured through quality education. Good education tends to develop democratic thinking which is necessary to promote better quality of interpersonal relationships.
- Self-Awareness: The highest purpose of education for the individual is to become aware of one-self. Why study one-self? Subjective knowledge is greater than objective knowledge, as the soul is greater than the world. What is the meaning of attaining all the scientific knowledge if one does not know how to live one’s life! Education, therefore, opens the third eye. It leads to wisdom. It helps to realize our-self. The more we educate our-self the more we attain self-awareness.
A self-aware learner is one who:-
- Has an independent self-concept
- Can direct their own learning
- Is intrinsically motivated rather than extrinsically
- Is interested in immediate application of knowledge
- Assertiveness: Assertiveness is a social skill that allows an individual to stand up for one’s own or other people’s interests in a socially acceptable way without being aggressive or rude in behavior. One major characteristic of an assertive person is that he/she manages to convey his/her point of view without upsetting others.
Role of Education in Assertiveness:
- Education helps us to become emotionally stable; thereby it helps in openly expressing wishes, thoughts and feelings.
- Education makes us good listeners; therefore, it makes us more tolerable and patient and helps in listening to the views of others and then responding in an acceptable manner.
- Education enables us to overcome our ego and admit mistakes and apologize for our socially unacceptable actions.
- Education helps us to exercise self-control which is another major characteristic of assertive behavior.
- Empathy: Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of other individuals. It is a value which has the potential to transform human lives for the better and to bring about positive social change in worldwide community.
Development of empathy through education
- Modeling: Teachers are the role models for students who can show them the power of empathy in building strong relationships. It is the teacher who teaches the learners to care about the feeling of others.
- Teaching point of view: A teacher must teach the students that every individual has his own point of view. In case of mismatch of viewpoint, one should not disrespect another individual. If I am right, it does not mean that the other person is wrong. Teacher can share his/her own personal experiences with students while teaching about the importance of respectful behavior towards the development of empathy.
- Use of literature: Literature is a tool that can be used by teacher to educate the students about the importance of empathy. The enactment of various literary devices inside the classroom can help in improving the emotional mindset of students which in turn will help to make them more empathetic towards each other.
- Listening actively to others: One of the major obstacles to empathetic relationships is that we do not listen to others. We just try to say out what is ingrained in our mind. In order to promote active listening there is an important strategy called HEAR strategy. It consists of following steps.
- Halt: Stop whatever you are doing and focus your attention towards the speaker.
- Engage: Shift your focus towards the speaker. Get yourself engaged in the process of listening.
- Anticipate: Look forward to what the speaker wants to tell. In this way you can motivate yourself towards learning something new and interesting.
- Replay: Think about what the speaker is saying. Analyze his speech and replay the discussion in your mind.
- Coping with stress: Coping with stress is a wide range of techniques which aim to control a person’s level of stress usually for the purpose of improving everyday functioning. There are several models of stress management, each with distinctive explanations of mechanisms for controlling stress. Some of the ways reduce a lower level of stress than usual stress level. Some common stress management techniques are
- Social activity
- Conflict resolution
- Yoga nidra
- Getting a hobby