Major literacy requirements of the PDHPE 7-10 Syllabus
The main aim of PDHPE 7-10 Syllabus is to enhance students’ health capacity and maximize on the potential life advocating health skills and training for the entire student body for the benefit of the coming generation. These programs are aimed at improving student’s understanding of life skills and personal management skills. Besides, they seek to advance their interpersonal skills including a respectful and caring relationship. Secondly, the syllabus addresses mechanisms of protecting, restoring, and promoting community and individual health skills. The syllabus helps the students to participate in enjoyable physical activities. Besides, PDHPE equips the learners with the necessary skills that are essential for promoting active and healthy lifestyles in the community. This program would be essential in changing student’s attitude and value on healthcare and life skills through willingness to participate in a supportive healthcare and health-enhancing personal transformation and behavior change, and developing personal commitment to social justice health principles.
However, the approaches advanced to promote this program is ineffective in all sectors. For instance, students with physical challenges and disability often suffer from being excluded in the healthcare and promotion programs proposed by the curriculum. Therefore, it is important for the special needs of the students with physical challenges to be considered. It is only through this exclusive program that the success in health and promotional program will be attained. Therefore, it is important for the curriculum developer to identify the key academic needs of the students that would enhance their understanding and life skills and equip the learners with the skills and technical literacy knowledge in order for the students to develop deeper understanding of the concept of health and physical education (Literacy skills for the knowledge society, 2007) The main requirements for advancing student’s understanding of the literacy skills with respect to personal healthcare are increasing the students’ communication skills, problem-solving techniques, decision-making, planning, and interaction skills. These skills would be essential in increasing the students’ knowledge and understanding of the key subjects and literacy standards especially for the PDHPE 7-10 learners. To promote social justice principles in accordance with the syllabus, it is important for the institution to take care of personal and specialized needs of individual students. A learner-emphasized education and training is therefore preferred for the PDHPE 7-10 students owing to the differences in the learners.
The first step in developing literacy skills is effective communication skills. Students must be in a position to communicate effectively so as to enhance their interpersonal and academic skills. This calls for effective expression of ideas, concepts, and personal opinions either by verbal or non-verbal techniques (Antonacci, 2011). A combination of written and verbal communication skills is essential for the learners. Since education or learning is all about communication of ideas, it is therefore important for the learners to develop such interaction skills and technical knowledge that would make them better speakers and learners by being able to communicate or express themselves.
In addition, communication and expression are not only important with the classroom but also in non-learning environments including social arena. Learners therefore must apply effective communication skills that are appropriate in resolving conflicts and effectively responding to others in their interaction. Effective communication skills are often demonstrated by the learners in a number of contexts including formal presentation, movement settings, informal interactions, social interactions and advocating physical and health activity within the learning environment. In developing effective communication skills, learners acquire the skills that would be helpful in responding to non-verbal and verbal messages, convey meaning coherently and concisely, take into consideration the context and the purpose of communication, develop good listening skills, and reflect on the appropriateness of the communication strategy or style (Training College Students in Information Literacy, 2006).
The second most important literacy technique is decision-making skills. Through learning, students must develop the capacity and skills that are essential in the process of making thoughtful and informed decisions, bearing in mind the rapid changes in the knowledge and technologies behind physical and health activities. Through learning, the learners must be able to acquire life-solving skills that are appropriate in their daily life. These entail consultative, collaborative, and informed decisions (Literacy skills for the knowledge society, 2007). The students should be more considerate to the needs and demands of other members of the society. When under social pressure, the students must recognize the need and the importance of addressing key physical and health issues by arriving at considerable conclusions in the interest of the parties concerned. Learning equips the students with the knowledge and skills of informed decision making when confronted with either predictable or dynamic environment through increase improvisation and innovative skills. The students/learners therefore select and modify their decision-making tactics and strategies to achieve group and individual goals in their settings. In the process of developing informed decision-making skills, learners must consider the consequences of their choices, evaluate their decisions, make critical decisions on the course of action, identify alternative options, assess the associated risk factors, and reflect on any past experience and knowledge before making the final decision (Antonacci, 2011).
Another critical literacy tool is interaction. Since learning is more than academic process as it covers social spheres, learners should therefore be able to develop the skills and capacity to effectively interact with others within their learning environment. Through group and team interaction, students learn to appreciate the differences that exist within themselves, and also advance their understanding of the benefits of collaborative and group dynamics. Through interaction, students often demonstrate their ability and potential to support each other within the groups and adopt different social responsibilities and roles. Interaction is also essential in developing student’s understanding of the diverse interpersonal differences and appreciation of such differences. Of great importance is the role of interaction in shaping the students’ social and interaction skills. Through interaction, students go through situational rehearsals that are essential in preparing the students for managing social and peer influences, and instead preserve personal values and health safety (White, 2005). Through developing social and interaction skills, students learn to demonstrate empathy for each other, establish consensus on individualized roles and responsibilities, contribute to the group objectives positively, act in manner that ensure personal and group safety, recognize and value the diverse needs, rights, values, and interests of others, and acknowledges the weaknesses and strength of each other and appreciate each other.
Problem-solving and planning are other fundamental literacy skills. Through planning, students advance their capacity and potentials to formulate meaningful plans and implement such plans in order to realize their goals. Planning skills are important in enhancing personal development, physical activity, personal health, work, study, and all forms of life aspirations of the students. Planning process help the students to make feasible and realistic plans with the little resource at their disposal to help then realize their life goals and objectives. Besides, planning helps in goal setting, resource and time management, evaluating and monitoring performance, and establishing priorities (Antonacci, 2011). In their daily life, students encounter a number of problems ranging from social, personal, to communal. However, it is important for the learners to develop problem-solving skills and strategies. One of the main challenge students often confront is health-related issues. In order to effective solve these life-confronting challenges, the students must be able to develop effective thinking skills so as to help them in managing their resources and life transitions challenges. Students may choose to work in groups or individually to identify alternatives, strengths, and suggest amicable solutions. The students therefore develop the ability to manage challenges and change in the society (White, 2005). Through problem-solving techniques, students learn to identify, anticipate, frame, and clarify problems, evaluate the outcomes, adapt the strategies that adequately address the identified problem, and justify their decision of the choice of strategy.
Antonacci, Patricia, and Catherine M. O’Callaghan. (2011). Developing Content Area Literacy: 40 Strategies for Middle and Secondary Classrooms. Los Angeles: SAGE.
Literacy skills for the knowledge society: Further results from the International Adult Literacy Survey. (2007). Paris.
Training College Students in Information Literacy. (2006). New York, N.Y: Primary Research Group.
White, H. (2005). Developing literacy skills in the early years: A practical guide. London: PCP/Sage Publications.