Social and Emotional Skills of Students in the Houston Independent School District (Brief 1)

Two briefs analyze the social and emotional skills of a representative group of 10 and 15-year-old students in HISD.

In the fall of 2019, 3,355 10-year-old students and 3,117 15-year-old students in the Houston Independent School District (HISD) participated in the Study on Social and Emotional Skills (SSES), part of an international effort led by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with Houston serving as the only U.S. site. The briefs provide a snapshot of the social and emotional (SE) skills of both student groups surveyed and shed light on the student populations in need of support at district and campus levels.

Social and emotional (SE) skills refer to the process by which children acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions (OECD, 2015). SE skills can lead to improved outcomes in education, employment, health, and well-being (Kankaraš and Suarez-Alvarez 2019). HISD students in each cohort varied with respect to their levels of SE skills, having reported higher levels of Tolerance, Curiosity, Creativity, Cooperation, Motivation, and Self-Efficacy than other skills. Substantial variation existed across different groups of students.

The Study of Social and Emotional Skills (SSES) at the U.S. study site was made possible through support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Houston Endowment, and The Wallace Foundation. The research reported was also made possible (in part) by a grant from the Spencer Foundation (#201800104). The findings, conclusions and views contained within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of the funders.

Photo: Tim Gouw/Unsplash

SSES Report Cover
Social and Emotional Skills of Students in the Houston Independent School District (Briefs 2-5)
Jan. 31, 2023

This series of briefs looks at how social and emotional skills are related to academic outcomes, absenteeism, and exclusionary discipline; the context of SSES skills; and the commonalities and differences between students’ self-ratings and teachers’ ratings of students’ SE skills.

Study on Social and Emotional Skills

Data gathered from this global research effort will help identify factors that support the development of social and emotional skills in students ages 10 and 15, and will provide an international context for how students exhibit these skills in their home countries.

The Equity Project

This comprehensive study of educational equity throughout Houston ISD focuses on understanding whether historically marginalized student populations in the district have the resources they need to be successful in the classroom and beyond.

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