Evaluation Study on TWF Life Skills Programme 2013-14
The Women's Foundation's Life Skills Programme was launched in 2011. The main goal of the Programme is to teach mid-late teens to question and challenge the status quo, to replace negative stereotypes with positive images, and to initiate positive changes in their lives. The curriculum covers important life aspects such as personal growth, interpersonal relationships, and life and career planning. Furthermore, in view of the importance of family and school in the socialization of children and youth into adulthood, this Programme also provides parent and teacher seminars to teach how to support their children and students to encounter life challenges and achieve positive development. In order to develop an evidence-based life skills Programme, The Women's Foundation commissioned this research team to conduct an evaluation study to assess the effectiveness of this Programme and to explore the essential factors affecting the feasibility of the Programme to tailor itself to the needs of adolescents in Hong Kong.
The present evaluation study adopted quantitative research methods to (1) assess the Programme in terms of its effectiveness in improving student participants' self-esteem, self-efficacy, sense of loneliness, sense of meaningfulness, satisfaction with life, internal locus of control, gender stereotypes, and financial literacy; and (2) assess student, parent, and teacher participant's satisfaction with the Programme. Focus group interviews were also undertaken to examine student participants' perceptions of the Programme and their learning experiences.
The quantitative findings indicate that the student participants experienced substantial improvements in most of the aspects examined after joining the Programme. In sum, they gained a more positive evaluation of self-worth, a stronger sense of companionship, an enhanced sense of meaningfulness, a higher satisfaction with life, an improved sense of control over life events, and a greater willingness to take part in family financial matters. Moreover, an overwhelming majority of the student, parent, and teacher participants felt highly satisfied with the Programme contents, Programme effects and performance of their instructors. Consistent with this positive feedback, many focus group respondents also expressed their appreciation for the Programme impacts on their affirmation of self-worth, exploration of life purposes, acceptance of responsibility for life, and reflection on personal financial management.
The synthesis of the quantitative and qualitative research findings suggest that The Women's Foundation may consider the following recommendations for the sake of excellence. First, the Life Skills Programme should maintain its rewarding effort in appreciating adolescents' determination and capability to take charge of their lives. Second, more effort could be put into improving the mutual understanding among adolescents, parents, and teachers, such as enhancing adolescents' communication skills and promoting positive parenting and teaching. Third, more work could be done in helping male student participants realize how the actualization of gender equality can benefit both genders, creating more reflection and discussion on the roles of males and females in the promotion of gender equality so as to foster more collaboration between them. Finally, the mentorship and peer ambassador schemes should be further enhanced in order to sustain the positive impacts of the Programme.