OECD Framework for Social and Emotional Skills

The OECDÕs framework for social and emotional skills outlines a set of social and emotional skills tied to positive personal and societal outcomes. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an intergovernmental organization that promotes economic and social well-being around the world. Organized around the Big Five personality traits, the OECDÕs framework focuses on the cognitive, social, and emotional skills needed to succeed in modern life and meet the challenges of the 21st century. The framework was designed to guide OECDÕs Study on Social and Emotional Skills, an international effort to develop a comprehensive set of metrics for social and emotional skills.

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Breakdown by Domain

Domain Key


Key Features

Context & Culture

  • Summarizes evidence showing how the Big Five model upon which the framework is based can be generalized across many cultures and languages around the world
  • Emphasizes the impact of families, school, community, culture, policies, and institutions on skill development and provides specific examples of the factors that influence social and emotional skills across different contexts (e.g., family, school, community, workplace)
  • While not currently part of the framework, OECDÕs Study on Social and Emotional Skills will gather a wide range of information on childrenÕs family, school, and community environments in order to better understand the factors relevant to the development of social and emotional skills

Developmental Perspective

  • Notes that social and emotional skills develop and change with age and summarizes the cumulative average level-changes in personality across the lifespan
  • Emphasizes the importance of aligning skills across different stages of schooling (e.g., primary, lower secondary, upper secondary, etc.)
  • While not currently part of the framework, OECDÕs Study on Social and Emotional Skills will examine skills in two ages groups (10- and 15-year-olds) in order to compare them across developmental stages
  • No learning progression provided

Associated Outcomes

  • Summarizes evidence linking each domain in the framework to specific life outcomes
  • Also provides a general overview of the evidence linking social and emotional skills to individual outcomes such as school achievement, job performance, health, personal conduct, and mental wellbeing as well as societal outcomes such as public safety and civic engagement

Available Resources

Support Materials

  • Informational handouts and brochures
  • Blog posts and speeches on the importance of social and emotional skills
  • Additional research reports on social and emotional learning

Programs & Strategies

  • Summarizes common practices for supporting social and emotional skills across various countries and provides some specific examples

Measurement Tools

  • Framework designed to inform the development and testing of a comprehensive international assessment tool
  • Describes the types of measures typically used to measure social and emotional skills and provides some specific examples
  • No tools provided

Key Publications

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