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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2022

Life Skills Education for Youth

Critical Perspectives

  • Calls for critical conceptualizations of life skills

  • Offers examples and considerations for reframing life skills conceptually and pedagogically

  • Draws on a review of theoretical, methodological, and empirical literature on life skills

  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access.

Part of the book series: Young People and Learning Processes in School and Everyday Life (YPLP, volume 5)

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Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
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Table of contents (12 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xvi
  2. Introduction

    • Joan DeJaeghere, Erin Murphy-Graham
    Pages 1-12Open Access
  3. Social and Emotional Learning: From Conceptualization to Practical Application in a Global Context

    • Katharine E. Brush, Stephanie M. Jones, Rebecca Bailey, Bryan Nelson, Natasha Raisch, Emily Meland
    Pages 43-71Open Access
  4. Workforce Skills Curriculum Development in Context: Case Studies in Rwanda, Algeria, and the Philippines

    • Catherine Honeyman, Laura Cordisco Tsai, Nancy Chervin, Melanie Sany, Janice Ubaldo
    Pages 113-146Open Access
  5. Life Skills Education in Ethiopia: Afar Pastoralists’ Perspectives

    • Sileshi Yitbarek, Yohannes Wogasso, Margaret Meagher, Lucy Strickland
    Pages 245-265Open Access
  6. Concluding Thoughts on Life Skills Education for Youth

    • Dana Schmidt
    Pages 267-276Open Access

About this book

This open access volume critically reviews a diverse body of scholarship and practice that informs the conceptualization, curriculum, teaching and measurement of life skills in education settings around the world. It discusses life skills as they are implemented in schools and non-formal education, providing both qualitative and quantitative evidence of when, with whom, and how life skills do or do not impact young women’s and men’s lives in various contexts. Specifically, it examines the nature and importance of life skills, and how they are taught. It looks at the synergies and differences between life skills educational programmes and the way in which they promote social and emotional learning, vocational/employment education, and health and sexuality education. Finally, it explores how life skills may be better incorporated into education and how such education can address structures and relations of power to help youth achieve desired future outcomes, and goals set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Life skills education has gained considerable attention by education policymakers, researchers and educators as being the sine qua non for later achievements in life. It is nearly ubiquitous in global and national education policies, including the SDGs, because life skills are regarded as essential for a diverse set of purposes: reducing poverty, achieving gender equality, promoting economic growth, addressing climate change, fostering peace and global citizenship, and creating sustainable and healthy communities. Yet, to achieve these broad goals, questions persist as to which life skills are important, who needs to learn them, how they can be taught, and how they are best measured. This book addresses these questions.


  • examining life skills education scholarships
  • life skills for adolescents in developing countries
  • linking life skills education and social-emotional learning
  • life skills for 'at risk' youth
  • social justice based approach to life skills
  • empirical cases of life skills education
  • employability and soft skills curriculum development
  • career skills as education
  • Open Access

Editors and Affiliations

  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA

    Joan DeJaeghere

  • University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, USA

    Erin Murphy-Graham

About the editors

Joan DeJaeghere is a Professor of Comparative and International Development Education in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota. Her scholarly work and professional practice are concerned with how inequities are produced and transformed in and through education, using a critical capability approach to foster justice-enhancing possibilities. The different strands of her research examine gender, caste, class and ethnic inequalities in education, and how education (both schooling and non-formal) can foster inclusive citizenship. Dr. DeJaeghere has published 2 books, including Educating entrepreneurial citizens:  Neoliberalism and youth livelihoods in Tanzania (Routledge, 2017) and Education and youth agency (Springer, 2016). She has been the principal or co-principal investigator of several longitudinal (qualitative and mixed-methods) research projects of education and youth livelihoods (East Africa), life skills and girls' educational engagement (India), and women's empowerment and livelihoods (Vietnam). Her work has been used to inform educational practices by governments, non-governmental organizations, and international donors.

Erin Murphy-Graham is an Associate Adjunct Professor at the Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches courses in research methods, international development, and globalization and education. Her research focuses on three inter-related areas: 1) the process by which education can foster the empowerment of girls and women, and the theorization of what empowerment entails; 2) the role of education in changing how students relate to others, particularly in their intimate relationships and in building trust; 3) the rigorous evaluation of educational programs that have demonstrated potential to empower youth and adults in Latin America. She is currently engaged in a design-based research project to prevent child marriage in Honduras, and has a longstanding research program on the innovative secondary education system Sistema de Aprendizaje Tutorial (Tutorial Learning System or SAT). 

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)