Developing Life Skills through Physical Activity: A Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility Model Approach
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Ethnographic methods were used to study a weekly after-school physical activity program over an eight-month period. Based on Hellison’s Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR) model, the program sought to foster positive life skills amongst youth. The study investigated how the developed program influenced this life skills education experience. Several themes were identified from the data revolving around culture, life skills, pedagogy, and lessons learned. Data suggests that the positive environment developed within the program positively influenced youths’ life skill education experience. The topic of ethnicity as it relates to the experience of marginalized youth in physical activity settings is also discussed. This study supports TPSR literature and suggests that effort to establish caring relationships and empower youth contribute to the establishment of a positive atmosphere where life skills education can occur. Beyond this, practical tools were developed through this study to help others deliver life skill education.