OECD Education Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies drawing on the work of the OECD Directorate for Education. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language (English or French) with a short summary available in the other.

English, French

Social and emotional skills for student success and well-being

Conceptual framework for the OECD study on social and emotional skills

In an increasingly fast-changing, complex and diverse world, social and emotional skills are becoming ever more important. In this paper we present an overview of literature on social and emotional skills, describing the nature and structure of these skills, their development, malleability and factors that influence them, their cross-cultural comparability and their relevance for a wide range of educational, economic and life outcomes. The paper also represents a conceptual framework for the OECD’s new Study on Social and Emotional Skills, an international survey that assesses 10- and 15-year-old students in a number of cities and countries around the world.

We focus on the underlying skills within and outside of the widely researched Big Five model that are found to be more predictive and policy relevant. We examine the relationships of these skills with a variety of indicators of individual and societal well-being such as education, employment and income, health, and personal well-being. The paper discusses the structure of child’s social and emotional skills and the developmental trajectories of these skills across a lifetime. It presents the evidence of malleability of these skills as well as their relevance across a wide range of cultural contexts.


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