Social and Emotional Skills for Life and Career: Policy Levers That Focus on the Whole Child

Image of policy brief coverEmployers and colleges want candidates who are motivated and adaptable, are able to work well in teams and communicate effectively, have a strong work ethic, have solid interpersonal skills, and are strategic in their planning skills. Schools need to place a greater emphasis on social and emotional skills for students to prepare them for work and for life.

In this policy snapshot, we summarize existing research about the effects of education on students’ social and emotional skills and identify important state and district policy considerations for initiating and integrating social and emotional learning, as well as for preparing and developing teachers and administrators to focus on the whole child. The brief includes examples from various states and districts, including the following:

  • Anchorage School District (Alaska)
  • Austin Independent School District (Texas)
  • California’s Core Districts
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia