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  • Writer's pictureYamit Armbrister

The Missing Life Lesson: Resilience

Why are we not taught from birth how to better cope with life?

Why isn’t there a must topic in school or college or at work that teaches us to be resilient?

What are the key reasons we are not always taught comprehensive life skills and resilience education?

The answer is a complex one because like everything in life, it is influenced by various societal, educational, and cultural factors.

1. Emphasis on Academic and Technical Skills: Traditional educational systems have long prioritized academic knowledge and skills over personal development and life skills. The focus has primarily been on subjects like mathematics, science, and language arts, with less attention given to emotional intelligence, problem-solving, and resilience.

2. Cultural Variations: culture plays a significant role in shaping people’s resilience because depending on the values, beliefs, stories, myths, narratives, identity, norms etc. it can shape an individual’s understanding and resilience to cope with life’s challenges.

3. Parental Responsibility: Teaching resilience and life skills is still perceived as the responsibility of Parents. Only when caregivers, schools and the broader community play a significant role in imparting this skill from childhood, we may see a change in individuals’ resilience.

4. Limited Resources: As a result of the above reasons, schools, colleges, and workplaces often prioritize resilience below technical and academic skills and thus have limited resources and time available to cover this super critical skill. As a result, they may prioritize topics that are seen as directly contributing to future career prospects and economic success and not to what is perceived as an individual trait.

5. Lack of Standardization: There is no standardized curriculum or approach on life skills, which makes it challenging to ensure consistent and effective instruction.

6. Evaluation and Assessment Challenges: Measuring and assessing resilience and other life skills is more complex than evaluating academic knowledge. This makes it difficult to design standardized tests and assessments, which are often used to evaluate educational outcomes.

With that said, there has been a shift in educational philosophy towards recognizing the importance of life skills and emotional intelligence. Many educators and experts now advocate for a more holistic approach to education that includes teaching resilience, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills.

Still, while there is growing recognition of the importance of teaching resilience and life skills, progress has been slow and uneven. Some workplaces, schools and educational programs are now integrating these skills into their curricula, but widespread adoption and standardization remain challenges. It is increasingly evident that the skills needed to navigate life successfully are essential for the well-being and success of individuals in our rapidly changing world.

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