Skip to main content

Life Skills Education for Youth

Critical Perspectives

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2022

You have full access to this open access Book


  • 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)

Buy print copy

Softcover Book USD 16.99 USD 49.99
Discount applied Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

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 inthe 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.

Similar content being viewed by others


Table of contents (12 chapters)

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 iscurrently 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

Publish with us