Key skills

8th December 2000 at 00:00
A GUIDE TO THE TEACHING OF SKILLS. Teacher's guide. pound;40. Student book. pound;4. The Achievement Trust. 30 St George's Square. Worcester. WR1 1HX.Tel: 01905 726 575.

These two volumes support the Achievement Trust's Diploma of Achievement, which has just been revised. They will be of real interest to those working with the post-16 group.

The materials were designed to give students the skills that higher education and industry and commerce claimed were lacking in young people.

We now refer to these skills as key skills, and schools and colleges throughout the United Kingdom are grappling with such pleasures as level 3 application of number.

Those institutions that have decided to deliver key skills through general studies programmes should look at these materials. The authors point to a broader application, though, suggesting that students following any post-16 course will benefit from the huge range of activities outlined in the diploma.

The teacher's guide shows what a skills-based general studies programe should look like. It covers topics familiar to those who have been involved in general studies teaching for some time, but the most striking aspect is the use of controversial, practical and ethical issues and activities. It is all in here - from Pinochet to safe sex - and with an accompanying CD-Rom thrown in for free.

The student book is in a tidy personal organiser format, packed with information and guidance. Students will like it.

Included are quick-reference sections to most things you could think of. These range from those clearly related to key skills, such as presentation skills, compiling a database and handling statistics, to sections that deal with what used to be called "life skills", such as money matters, first aid and contraception.

Teaching key skills presents institutions with a host of problems and challenges. These two resources could play a major part in moving the project forward.

Mike Moores Mike Moores is an educational consultant with a special interest in study skills

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