Why do I take some risks and not others? I suppose it’s about how well I can foresee a potential positive outcome against a negative result, and the severity and likelihood of each. But that makes the whole subject sound like an entirely rational calculation, which is not what it feels like in real life. Personally speaking, my judgements are often intuitive, and shaped by past experience.
We seem to think ever more about the risks facing children and young people. But how can we think about them usefully?
It’s a subject that is perhaps particularly important to Opening Minds schools. Learning centred around the development of competences will usually have a greater emphasis on experience and independence – developing the ability to understand and to do. Our thoughts and feelings about risk can shape the learning experiences we design, and the judgements and choices young people are able to make.
Equally, the degree of inequality in Britain means that some young people will have very different risks to manage in their lives, and differing resources to help them excercise good judgement.
So, how do we help young people develop the best understanding of how to handle risk in their lives?
This is a question that the RSA have been thinking hard about. The Risk and Childhood report, launched in October, helps us consider the risks children and young people face in everyday life and how we should respond.
Now, we are developing a fun, interactive Online Psychometric Tool that can be used by young people to help them understand the risks in their lives, how they can approach them wisely, and where they can go to get help.
We want to involve schools and young people in this development process, and particularly schools working with the Opening Minds competences for Managing Situations.
If you want to find out more, leave a comment or drop us a line.