Ireland, 8 September 2021
The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) has released the findings of its first international comparative assessment of Social and Emotional Skills in children aged 10 and 15 years. The first of its kind, the survey offers a quantitative insight into the differences between younger children (10 years) and older children (15 years), across different interests, gender and economic backgrounds.
The survey shows that social and emotional skills are complementary to cognitive learning, "beyond academic learning", to help our children cope in a complex world. This research draws on the social and emotional experience of parents, teachers, educators and students from nine (9) different countries around the world. Canada, the US, Columbia, Portugal, Turkey, Finland, Russia, South Korea, and China took part in this groundbreaking survey, which drew on a genuinely global test group.
The OECD's work on education and skills aims to provide policymakers with insights that can improve the quality of education worldwide. It's hoped that the survey results will direct educators and politicians to take a more holistic view of the educational experience.
Andreas Schleicher, OECD Director for Education and Skills, believes that the world in which young people receive their education has changed drastically. Education systems need to move with the times to cater to a new set of needs.
"Education is no longer just about teaching something", said Schleicher. "But about helping [students] develop a reliable compass to navigate with confidence through a world that is increasingly volatile, complex, ambiguous, uncertain. Success in education today is about building curiosity and opening minds. It's about compassion, opening hearts and courage."
At Alison, we have always promoted a holistic approach to education. Our belief in empowering Learners is multifaceted and values empowerment through improved confidence managed anxiety and expanded emotional intelligence. We aim to foster empowerment through professional and educational upskilling and increased job opportunities. Alison’s core has always been the belief that the professional and the personal are inseparable. A Learner happy within themselves will perform better and achieve more in their work or school life, and a Learner thriving at work or school will be more confident and comfortable wherever they find themselves.
To that effect, we are constantly growing our 3000+ courses, to increase amongst others, our social and emotional skill offerings to a global audience from teenagers to retirees. Earlier this month, we launched a much-anticipated series of courses in Public Speaking, produced by well-known personal development coach TJ Walker, which has already begun raising confidence and developing social skills among our 20 million learners.
"We know that employers greatly value social and emotional skills", said Schleicher. "And many education systems these days prioritise their development." Alison is undoubtedly among these forward-thinking education systems, and we have anticipated the findings of the OECD's study with the recent launch of our Irish Transition Year Hub.
A striking result is that all 15-year-old students, irrespective of their gender and social background, reported lower social and emotional skills on average than their 10-year-old counterparts. Parents and educators ratings confirmed the decline in social and emotional skills as students grow older. Alison’s Irish Transition Year Hub aimed at 15 and 16-year-olds, has been curated with this in mind, to help learners discover their interests across a broad spectrum of categories by enrolling into short online courses, which they can complete at their own pace. The study has found that students who described themselves as creative and curious had higher reported levels of social and emotional skills.
The Irish Transition Year (TY) programme, unique to the Irish Education System, is an optional fourth year of secondary school designed to help students achieve their maximum social-emotional potential. Students can study courses and pursue experiences that are not found in the traditional curriculum. Designed for students aged 15/16, there is an emphasis placed on their personal development and growth for building curiosity, compassion and courage.
Our Irish Transition Year Hub has been created to offer free online educational resources to TY students and teachers around Ireland. This resource has been tailored to support the development of life skills, increasing students’ worldview and develop their personalities even further. Our Moral, Social and Personal Development as well as a Creativity Hub are great starting points for students to engage with this content.
For any teacher, educator or student who is keen to take action based on the OECD’s survey results in response to today's complex and challenging environments, the Irish Transition Year Hubs will help maximise social-emotional potential.
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