Dangerous Decisions: Learning to Think Before You Act
This item is included in the following series/curriculum: Teen Challenges Tool Kit
Running Time: 20 minutes
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Teens today are exposed to many risks—the ready availability of drugs, tobacco and alcohol; pressure to have sex; dangers on the Internet; inexperienced, drowsy and drunk driving; extreme diets; and more. When faced with difficult and life-altering decisions, teens often lack the skills needed to understand and evaluate the potential problems before they choose to act. Program provides a step-by-step approach to learning and applying good decision-making skills. Includes risk assessment and risk management tools for all areas of their lives, from school to friends to work to situations that potentially endanger their well-being. Profiles several teens who talk about decisions they now regret. With hindsight, what could they have done to achieve a different and better outcome? Describes how risk taking is a normal part of adolescence while emphasizing the importance of distinguishing between healthy and unhealthy risks.
video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format
Drunk driving, Internet dangers, peer pressure to have sex, and drugs and alcohol are among the many risks that teens encounter. The young hosts who introduce the program state that risk-taking can give teens confidence and foster independence as long as they apply a clear-headed assessment of the situation and are not persuaded to act by their peers. The focus is on the decisions made by four teens. Lucas was always the life of the party. His friends describe him and the accident that took his life when he and the driver of the car were high and drunk. Lucas's death has caused his friends to make healthier choices. Marissa, a teen mother, talks candidly about the consequences of her decision to have unprotected sex. Giving into pressure from her boyfriend, Autum made the decision to send semi-nude photos of herself to his cell phone, which he posted on the Internet. Autum had to face the taunts of fellow students and the loss of friends whose parents learned of her behavior. Justin participated in an Outward Bound wilderness program in rural Minnesota, facing his fears of heights and water, and challenging himself physically. His story is an example of positive risk-taking. Each segment ends with comments by a psychiatrist. Professionally presented and featuring a diverse group of teens that viewers will relate to, this is a quality program about important teen issues.
- Constance Dickerson, Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, OH
School Library Journal
Highly Recommended Taking risks and making smart decisions is difficult enough for adults. Can you imagine what it must be like for high school students? As adults, we don’t really have to worry about peer pressure, looking cool and being accepted; for the most part we’ve out grown those concerns. But for today’s high school aged teens smart decision making is perhaps more important than ever before. In Human Relations Media’s Dangerous Decisions: Learning to Think Before You Act the producers have developed a film designed to help young adults with risk taking, decision making, and becoming independent thinkers and learners. Dangerous Decisions is the ideal resource for professionals who work with at-risk teens who grow up in households where there are no positive role models to help them make smart choices.
Secondary high school educators, librarians, parents and even social workers can benefit from having this title as part of their collection of informational/instructional resources. The film speaks to young people who may be struggling with peer pressure, fitting in, and just being cool.
Although this is an educational resource, it views like a short film that will keep young viewers engaged for the entire 20 minutes. The characters in the video play out scenarios and articulate the consequences of poor decision making on issues like drug use, alcohol consumption , teen pregnancy, cell phones and Internet use. For each of the issues addressed, young viewers are shown the consequences of poor decision making.
I was especially impressed with the term “healthy risk”, a concept that was introduced throughout the video. Healthy risks can build confidence and self esteem – perhaps even lead to avoiding poor choices in the first place. The video is packed full with teaching and learning opportunities. Teachers will be impressed with the ease of developing lesson plans into whole units of study. School librarians will be impressed with the plethora of student activities in the Teacher’s Resource Book that support information fluency. As an academic librarian I know how important it is for school media specialists to collaborate with faculty. Both the video and the Teacher’s Resource Book can be used to enhance library/teacher collaborative efforts. This is a must have for all professionals who work with young adults.
- Carl R. Andrews, Assistant Professor, Charles Evans Inniss Memorial Library, Medgar Evers College/CUNY, Brooklyn, NY
Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)