This research project shall develop and refine the method to work with life plans in secondary schools. When working with life plans it is possible to integrate different subjects in a way that make the meaning and practical use of the subjects knowledge more clear. The students get a tool to create a good life and a sustainable society.
The research project will look at how to use life plans as a teaching tool. It will seek answers about how it can fit into the curriculum and what a good content can be.
The project also wants to investigate the skills the students need to have to be able to fulfill their plans and the skills the teachers need to have to teach with life plans.
A life plan is a short written document. It is written by you for you. In the document, you define your life categories or life domains. You make a priority order, go through the aims, visions, objectives, and strategies for each category. You make an action plan for the life you want.
Why doing life plans?
There are many arguments why you should do a life plan:
- You get an overview and an increased awareness about what is important in your life.
- You get an increased awareness about what you want to prioritize in your life in accordance with your life situation.
- When you have been thinking through and reflected about that it is easier for you to say no to unimportant things and say yes to what you truly want to do or be. It is a help to get a better balance in life.
- You can more easily see new possibilities when you have a conscious vision for your life.
- You get a better clarity about what you want to change in your life and how to do it.
For students and teachers, the work in school is a big part of their life but it is a part of a wholeness with a lot of other activities. When this wholeness function in a good way there is a bigger chance that the studies go well. When you do a life plan you get a tool to create a good balance between the different parts of your life.
To consciously reflect about your life plan can give you more meaning in your life. If you fill your life with more meaningful activities and daily events is it more likely you get the life you want
An outline of how to work with life plans
This project will develop a method to work with life plans to give our youth a good structure to develop a good ground for life. It will be about to teach the students the structure for creating a good life. By starting to let the students find their major ”life categories” and from them integrate most of the subjects we can show the students the meaning and purpose of knowledge and skills. The different life categories is a structure to make it easier to see a connection between different subjects and make it easier for teachers in different subjects to cooperate. Working with the life plan categories should be done in cooperation between subjects that are related to the category.
By the work with life plans we can help the students to develop self-knowledge, lay a foundation for better physical and mental health, help the students to find its unique individuality and its strengths and goals in life.
In the work with life plans we can, in the different subjects, find what knowledge the student needs to know to be able to be an active, happy citizen that can give its unique contribution to a sustainable society. A supporting structure for that is the different ”life categories” as health and fitness, school and education, career, social life, love relationship, financial life etc. By teaching how to balance all these aspects of life the student can learn how to maintain a good health.
In the work with life plans, they begin to look at witch life categories they have in their life. By doing so we emphasize that the student owns his or her learning process. Further on in the process, they will get presented about 12 different categories witch from proven experience is important to implement in its life to get a good life and be prepared to solve life problems when they occur later in life. The work with life plans helps the students to increase their resilience and even anti-fragile life.
The teachers in the different school subjects will have a different response to integrating practical useable knowledge according to the curriculums. In this work, the school’s health team with school nurses and counselors can play an important role when looking at student health in a holistic way. This will hopefully give a better meaning and understanding of the purpose of the education for the student.
Aim and objectives
The aim of the research project is to develop the way we can teach with life plans in secondary schools and structure the knowledge for students and teachers. The project shall explore the problems as well as the opportunities to teach with life plans.
The project will also look at how teaching with life plans can help the student to see how to contribute to a sustainable society.
Teaching with life plans is not common in the education world. This project will introduce this way of teaching. The best research method for this kind of work will be action research. The way to teach with life plans will, with best practice so far, be developed at the beginning of the research period. A manual and support material for teachers as well for pupils will be created. This material will then be refined after evaluations.
School year 2017/2018
In natural science, I tested to let the students develop the life category ”health and fitness”. They learned and summarized base facts about diet, sleep and circadian rhythm, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and other addictions as internet och mobile addictions. They took the facts from my lectures and the teachings aids. Then they made a vision of how a healthy life would look like and why it is important to have this category in life. With this done they then made goals and plans on having to get a healthy life.
When I had the exam I gave them the description of two young people and how they lived. Whit the help of the life plan they then described how the health of one of the persons could develop in short and long terms. Finally, they gave advice to the person on how to get a good health and why the advice was good.
In ”sex and relationships” they did the two categories ”social life” and ”love life” as submissions.
All of this three category life plans was not their personal plans. It was an ”optimal plan for young people of their age”. As a teacher, I teach them a common plan. A mentor will help them with their private plans. Examples of a mentor in health and fitness are the school nurse, a doctor, a personal trainer at their gym or a nutritionist.
As a teacher in secondary school, I am also a mentor. We shall help them with the overall work in school and have development talks every semester. To prepare the talks the student did write their personal life plan categories in ”job and career” and ”school and education”. The development talks that semester got the best evaluation ever.