About this Research Topic
Socio-emotional skills - also referred to as socio-emotional competencies – are an umbrella term to describe a broad range of social skills (e.g., the ability to cooperate with others), motivational and self-regulatory skills (e.g., values, interests, or self-control, and personality traits (e.g., conscientiousness, emotional stability). There is growing attention in socio-emotional skills - from social researchers as well as from practitioners and politicians. Measures are included in large-scale assessments such as PISA or the Worldbank's STEP study, and broad intervention studies that aim to improve socio-emotional skills are launched in the United States and elsewhere.
But is this trend justified? Critics have argued that this trends towards studying socio-emotional skills, and in particular their inclusion in major intervention studies, may be premature. These critics have pointed to a number of questions about socio-emotional skills that have not been conclusively resolved. For example, how should socio-emotional skills best be measured, and how can their measurement be further improved? Do socio-emotional skills add incremental predictive value for educational and life outcomes beyond cognitive skills? What is the nature of the interplay between socio-emotional and cognitive skills in shaping educational and life outcomes? What theoretical frameworks or mechanism explain the links of socio-emotional skills to educational and life outcomes? And (how) can educational settings or interventions foster the development of socio-emotional skills?
This Research Topic aims to provide insights into (1) best-practices in assessing socio-emotional skills, (2) empirical and theoretical evidence for the incremental value of socio-emotional skills beyond cognitive ability, and (3) development and training of socio-emotional skills.
Keywords: socio-emotional skills, non-cognitive skills, personality, interests, assessment
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