Development Education


Skills




Development Education is about building students’ skills in order to effect positive change in our global society. Skills such as critical thinking and questioning can help students, not only to understand global issues, but also to take informed and meaningful action. Most DE resources and methodologies focus on building these skills.


“Students gained a sense of pride in their achievement and linked their project to the global issues surrounding food. They learned to work together as a team and these cooperative skills were transferred to the classroom. Students improved their communication skills as they had much to discuss. Some students demonstrated leadership qualities and they developed these throughout the project. Students now understand practices around growing and transporting food. They were thinking about real world issues and as such developed their critical and creative thinking skills.”

Jennifer Poole, Teacher, Rosary College

The type of skills that are built in DE are as follows:
(Note that these are skills that need to be built for both Junior and Senior Cycle)

Communication Skills


Junior Cycle: Communicating
Senior Cycle: Communicating

  • Listening and discussion
  • Oral presentation
  • Debating and defending a position
  • Writing for a purpose
  • Ability to express one’s own interests, beliefs and viewpoints through an appropriate medium
  • Ability to perceive and understand the interests, beliefs and viewpoints of others
  • Ability to exercise empathy and solidarity


The Concern Debates is a development education programme that gives students the opportunity to learn skills in research, critical thinking, public speaking and debate, and tackle some of the most important issues facing the world today.


Intellectual Skills


Junior Cycle: Managing Information & Thinking
Senior Cycle: Critical and Creative Thinking, Information Processing

  • Researching and evaluating information and ideas
  • Interpreting the media and identification of bias and prejudice
  • Recognition of stereotypes and discrimination
  • Organising information, using concepts and ideas
  • Applying reasoning skills to problems and issues
  • Communicative competence across a range of media and uses of language. Ability to perceive the consequences of taking or not taking specific actions in a particular context.
  • The ability to manage complexity and uncertainty.


Digital Media Literacy

Check out our DE and Digital Media Literacy Resource, for junior cycle teachers.



Social Skills


Junior Cycle: Working with Others, Staying Well, Managing Myself
Senior Cycle: Working with Others, Being Personally Effective

  • Taking responsibility
  • Making decisions
  • Establishing democratic working relationships
  • Sustaining dialogue with people in power and within and across cultures
  • Capacity for the development of satisfying and interactive human relations in different cultural and power contexts.



Action Skills


Junior Cycle Key Skills: Being Creative, Working with others
Senior Cycle Key Skills: Being personally effective

  • The ability to participate in group decision-making and effectively engage in democratic action to try to influence and/or change social situations
  • Cooperation and conflict resolution
  • Action and event planning that mobilise people towards meaningful action or changed behaviour
  • Lobbying skills.


As each school’s DE programme is different the list of skills below is not exhaustive e.g. many schools connect their learning on food and sustainability to their school garden so their gardening skills are also improved as a result of their DE programme.