Skills for Social Progress
The Power of Social and Emotional Skills
Today’s children will need a balanced set of cognitive, social and emotional skills
in order to succeed in modern life. Their capacity to achieve goals, work effectively
with others and manage emotions will be essential to meet the challenges of the 21st
century. While everyone acknowledges the importance of socio-emotional skills such
as perseverance, sociability and self-esteem, there is often insufficient awareness
of “what works” to enhance these skills. Teachers and parents don’t really know whether
their efforts at developing these skills are paying off, and what they could do better.
Policies and programmes designed to measure and enhance socio-emotional skills vary
considerably within and across countries.
This report presents a synthesis of the OECD’s analytical work on the role of socio-emotional
skills and proposes strategies to raise them. It analyses the effects of skills on
a variety of measures of individual well-being and social progress, which covers aspects
of our lives that are as diverse as education, labour market outcomes, health, family
life, civic engagement and life satisfaction. The report discusses how policy makers,
schools and families facilitate the development of socio-emotional skills through
intervention programmes, teaching and parenting practices. Not only does it identify
promising avenues to foster socio-emotional skills, it also shows that these skills
can be measured meaningfully within cultural and linguistic boundaries.
Published on March 10, 2015Also available in: Spanish, French, Portuguese
In series:OECD Skills Studiesview more titles