Social Competence: An Important Educational Objective?

Gary W. Ladd
page. 3~37 / 2007 Vol.1 No.1


Abstract. Because early childhood educators have been entrusted with theresponsibility of promoting children S social competence, it is important toconsider the meaning of this concept and its value as an educational objec -tive. Accordingly, three principal themes are addressed in this article. First,the construct of social competence is examined with the aim of explicatingassumptions about its locus, its modes of expression or manifestations, and theconditions under which children s performance can be considered competent.Second, the value of social competence as an educational objective isappraised in light of what has been learned, empirically, about its role in chil -dren s development. Third, findings from research on the precursors of socialcompetence are reviewed as a means of identifYing resources that may usefulfor promoting social competence in young children.

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