Education and Social Progress



Fostering Social and Emotional Skills through Families, Schools and Communities (English | Japanese)

This report reviews international evidence, including that from Japan, to better understand the learning contexts that can be conducive to children’s social and emotional development. It sheds light on features that underlie successful learning programmes including intervention studies. Reviewed evidence suggests that there are important roles for families, schools and communities to play in enhancing children’s social and emotional skills, and that coherence across multiple learning contexts needs be ensured. While most of the evidence comes from the United States and the United Kingdom, the paper suggests that further efforts could be made in Japan in collecting and better exploiting micro-data on a range of social and emotional skills, as well as in evaluating effectiveness of interventions designed to raise social and emotional skills.


The OECD Education and Social Progress (‌‌ESP) project aims at better understanding how education and skills drive individual well-being and societal progress. The main project objectives are:

  • To shed light on the power of social and emotional skills such as perseverance, self-esteem and respect for others in driving children’s life success in education, labour market, health, relationships and civic engagement;
  • To better understand how school-aged children’s skills progressively develop overtime through investments from families, schools and communities; and,
  • To develop recommendations and measurement tools, using the evidence collected, for policy-makers, school administrators, practitioners and parents to help children achieve their full potential, improve their life prospects and contribute to societal progress.


‌Phase 1 of the project developed a conceptual framework based on an extensive literature review conducted in collaboration with a number of leading researchers in the fields of psychology, education and economics, as well as elaborate longitudinal data analyses of 11 OECD countries and synthesise existing policies and practices on social and emotional learning. The outcome of this work is summarised in the report titled “Skills for Social Progress: the Power of Social and Emotional Skills” which will be published on 10 March 2015.

At the High Level Policy Forum on Skills for Social Progress held on 24-25 March 2014 in São Paulo, Brazil, Ministers of Education and other education leaders from around the world acknowledged an important role of social and emotional skills in driving societal progress and the need to develop and better measure them.

Phase 2 will build on evidence from Phase 1 and develop an international longitudinal study of skills development in cities. This international survey is scheduled to be launched in 2019.


ESP contact (
Koji Miyamoto (tel. +33 1 4524 8554 |


Skills for Social Progress:
The Power of Social and Emotional Skills

Project Brochure



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