A student’s ‘meaning in life’ and his/her connectedness to school, friends and family are believed to be factors that influence the development of life skills. Teachers could be aware of these factors in their endeavours to foster ‘whole-person development’ in their students. In this small-scale study, twelve secondary school teachers participated in three focus groups and reported their perceptions of students’ meaning in life, connectedness and life skills. In general, they believed that having a definite goal means students have found preliminarily the meaning in life and the source of motivation. The teachers also observed that high achievers tend to set goals for future achievement, whereas the goals and aspirations of low achievers are much more short-term. Teachers suggested that development of students’ connectedness and life skills can be facilitated by the opportunity to converse with teachers, and the creation of a caring culture in schools that makes students feel valued. Conversely, parental expectations and strong academic orientation of the school may restrict students’ personal goal-setting. The findings have practical implications for teachers, counselling professionals and other support staff in schools because specific guidance activities can be devised to strengthen students’ connectedness, meaning in life, and life skills. Copyright © 2020 NAPCE.
CitationYuen, M., Lee, Q. A. Y., & Chung, Y. B. (2021). Meaning in life, connectedness, and life skills development in junior secondary school students: Teachers' perspectives in Hong Kong. Pastoral Care in Education, 39(1), 67-83. doi: 10.1080/02643944.2020.1774634
- Hong Kong
- Life skills
- Meaning in life