Developmental assets are the basic life skills and attribute that are critical building blocks for young people’s successful growth and development. They are classified broadly into two: external assets and internal assets. Each further classified into subclasses;
External; support, boundaries empowerment and expectations
Internal; constructive use of time, commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies and positive identity
There are modalities in building the above assets and this was divided into 6 ways by the search institute;
Everyone can build assets. Building assets requires consistent messages across a community. All adults, youth and children play a role.
All young people need assets. While it is crucial to pay attention to those who have the least (economically), nearly all young people need more assets than they have.
A relationship is the key. Strong relationships between adults and young people, young people and their peers, and teenagers and children are central to asset building.
Asset building is an ongoing process. Building assets starts when a child is born and continues through high school and beyond.
Consistent messages are important. Young people need to receive consistent messages about what’s important and what’s expected from their families, schools, communities, the media and other sources.
Intentional redundancy is important. Assets must be continually reinforced across the years and in all areas of a young person’s life. (By search institute)
The assets that designate school as the primary promoter of are;
· Achievement motivation; this is basically done by arousing the child psychology to act toward a desired goal. The motivation is usually achieved by understanding the child and appealing to the mental faculty of the child. These help children to achieve the following;
Increase rate of high school completion, more students enrollment in college, student becomes more efficient, have greater expectation of success and achieve better grades in school, the children have positive perception of their teachers, this also helps the children in knowing how to manage stress and anxiety. The child will also be able to communicate effectively. All the above can only be achieve if proper technique is used. We should be able to focus on the child developing mind and self esteem which is very important in the child development.
· School engagement; a developmental asset that focus mainly on the child’s involvement in the school activities. When a child participate in the school activities both extra-curricular and curricular activities, the child develops a good working relationship with his or her colleague and also with the teachers and it will help the child to develop and achieve the following; the child will want to attend school regularly, he will spend more time on his homework, it will also help the child in learning and use of “deep” study technique, there’s also greater feeling of support at school which will affect the child’s ego positively, there’s also less involvement in drug use and less adolescent child bearing.
· Homework; helps to achieve higher test scores, greater homework completion and accuracy, improved scientific literacy and fewer conduct problems and less marijuana use. Home work has the same objectives as that of school in general. It s helps by increasing the child’s knowlegde and improve the capacity and skills it also help to reinforce what the child has learnt and also help in preparing them for the upcoming complex task.
Risk factors that would benefit from strengthening of the assets
Ø Achievement motivation. This developmental asset is very important in building a child’s self esteem. Most human who have inferiority complex tend to lack adequate motivation from childhood. They simply don’t believe in themselves and this will surely affect their productivity.
Ø School engagement. This cant be underestimate when it comes to child’s development because it strongly influence the academic performance of the child and how he or she relates with outsiders. The school can provide activities such as sports, story telling through writing, visual autobiographies, using resources in the community to teach them and teachers can identify their successes which is utmost in boosting their morals
Ø Home-work. The third developmental assets who designate the school as the primary promoter of the child’s development are home works. Home strongly influence the way child learn by reinforcing what he has learnt before and preventing the child from getting involve in some other activities that could have a negative impact on his life.
Developmental assets and my personal philosophy
Developmental assets are vital keys or tools in child’s development; I strongly believe that it enables parent and child care-givers and teachers to bring out the best in the child so he or she can really make maximum use of his or her potentials.
My experience and philosophy
When I was young my involvement in school activities greatly influenced my life positively. I learnt how write my own stories such as my experience with riding a bicycle. With such experience, I have been able to develop my writing skills.
The home works I did then was somehow stressful, because I always want to go and play but I got used to it and know I reinforce all my classroom works by simply going over it again at home and this gave an edge in all my results.
The motivation and teachings I was exposed to earlier in my life, I can manage stress and anxiety easily. So my philosophy in life about education is that “catch them young” when all is fresh and when all the neural connections are being form to achieve life success.
Search institute. (1999). Pass it On! Ready-ta-Use Handouts for Asset Builders. Developmental assets. Retrieved July 10, 2008. From www.search-institute.org