International studies show that French people stand out by their low levels of self-confidence, of feelings of personal efficacy, of perseverance, and of cooperation. The roots of this problem lie in an education system which is focused on intellectual abilities and which neglects the relationship with the self and with others. The result is that French students are more anxious than students elsewhere, are more fearful of being considered incompetent or of failing, who consider success at school as being something innate, and who shrink from obstacles and from the unknown. Their well-being at school is lower than in many other OECD countries.
As combined studies in economics and psychology show, this lack of social and behavioural skills has a significant impact on success and academic inequalities, integration, and working life, as well as on innovation and economic performance more generally.
This book argues for the recognition and integration of social skills into the French educational system. The resilience of our society depends upon it.