Original Research

The importance of social emotional learning skills in assisting youth to successfully transition into the professional world

Gloria Marsay, Kokou A. Atitsogbe, Abdoulaye Ouedraogo, Henry Nsubuga, Paboussoum Pari, Enyonam Y. Kossi, Chong M. Park, V. Scott H. Solberg
African Journal of Career Development | Vol 3, No 1 | a37 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajcd.v3i1.37 | © 2021 Gloria Marsay, Kokou A. Atitsogbe, Abdoulaye Ouedraogo, Henry Nsubuga, Paboussoum Pari, Enyonam Y. Kossi, Chong M. Park, V. Scott H. Solberg | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 March 2021 | Published: 30 August 2021

About the author(s)

Gloria Marsay, Department of Practical and Missional Theology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Kokou A. Atitsogbe, Institute of Psychology, University of Lausanne, Lausannes, Switzerland
Abdoulaye Ouedraogo, Department of Sociology, University Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Henry Nsubuga, Counselling and Guidance Centre, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Paboussoum Pari, Department of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Lomé, Lomé, Togo
Enyonam Y. Kossi, Department of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Lomé, Lomé, Togo
Chong M. Park, Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, Boston University, Boston, United States
V. Scott H. Solberg, Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, Boston University, Boston, United States


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Abstract

Background: This article shares the results of research on educator perceptions of the nature and value of social emotional learning (SEL) skills undertaken in four African countries: Burkina Faso, South Africa, Togo and Uganda. Social emotional learning skills make up a large component of the ‘deep human skills’, which are important academic and workforce development skills.

Objectives: Using samples of 50 Burkinabe, 68 South African and 32 Togolese and 66 Ugandan educators, this study describes the (1) SEL skills educators should be using to effectively teach their students and the (2) SEL skills the educators believe students should be using to be effective learners and successfully transition into the world of work.

Method: Data collection methods include online and offline surveys, with the exception of Uganda that complemented their survey data with interviews. Thematic content analysis, using modified grounded theory, was used to analyse the data, as well as the qualitative data analysis software NVivo.

Results: The results indicated seven common SEL themes shared across the four African countries. The SEL themes identified were consistent with the existing framework of Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) to some extent, especially around interpersonal relationships and decision-making skills.

Conclusion: The findings indicate that the salience and importance of specific SEL skills varied based on the unique history and context of each country.


Keywords

social emotional learning; career; future readiness; positive youth development; cross-cultural study

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