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Life skills

The publication celebrating the 30th anniversary of UNRISD (the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development) stressed the importance of "livelihood" and "participation". It defined "livelihood" as "the bundle of goods, services and social relations required to meet culturally defined standards of a good life" and made a clear distinction with the more limited concept of "basic needs". It went on to point out that participation is inseparable from livelihood. In a similar way, it might be important to distinguish between basic skills, seen as practical individual know-how generally related to core tasks in the working environment, and the broader concept of "life-skills" that include activities such as self-care, self-expression, dialogue, communication, participation, co-operation, solidarity, child-rearing, decision-making, ... In talk of the up-and-coming Information Society, extremely little importance is given to these life-skills. Perhaps this is because they don't fit satisfactorily in the framework of institutionalised learning... and why should they? They should be part of the tissue of society. Unfortunately Western civilisation has in many case squeezed them out leaving individuals to rely on hired experts to do things for them...

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ISSN: 1664-834X Copyright © , Alan McCluskey, info@connected.org
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Created: October 30th, 1996 - Last up-dated: October 30th, 1996