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Delivering Effective Personal & Social Development

24 August 2015

Personal and social development (PSD) is often poorly regarded by learners, it does not feel relevant to their lives and frequently repeats work carried out elsewhere. Learners genuinely want to engage in personal development. They want PSD that is relevant to their everyday life and career aspirations, something they see as useful going forward. A collaborative approach to developing PSD makes it ‘real’. It also helps to increase individuals’ levels of confidence, independence and self-esteem. Learners are considerably more motivated to learn if they have a stake in what and how they are taught. They feel valued when their opinions are taken into account. Learners become more active and self-directed in their learning when they value what they do, and can see their efforts rewarded in the skills they develop.

The introduction of the new Ofsted judgement ‘Personal development, behaviour and welfare’ is a positive move towards ensuring greater attention for this area of provision. However, it will not, in itself, improve the quality of PSD or its impact on learners’ skills development. What it can, and must do, is focus our attention on ascertaining how we can embed effective PSD curriculum and facilitate the developmental process in a meaningful and learner-centred way.

A recent project, led by the Further Education Tutorial Network (FETN) and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, explored ways to improve the quality of PSD provision by adopting a learner-led approach to curriculum design and delivery. This provided learners with a key role in shaping the type of PSD programme that they felt was important and relevant to their needs and aspirations. It included not only what should be taught, but also how it could best be delivered for maximum engagement and impact on skills development.

You can download a free copy of the report from this page

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