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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Character Education

Research tells us that character strengths are a key factor in student success. Learn how to help children develop traits like responsibility, initiative, perseverance, gratitude, and empathy.

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A photo of a male student in front of his locker.

Our Boys Need Us: The Power of Mentoring

Traditional education may put boys at a developmental disadvantage, and we must try harder to make them feel understood, valued, and eager to learn.

A photo of a young boy kneeling on a giant map of the world.

8 Pathways to Every Student's Success

Welcome to our blog series on how to apply the principles of positive youth development: curiosity, sociability, resilience, self-awareness, integrity, resourcefulness, creativity, and empathy.

An illustration of a child dressed as an old English judge.

The Nine (or How to Spot Future Greatness in a 6-Year-Old)

One first grade teacher suggests that we can spot future Supreme Court Justices in six-year-olds willing to shoulder serious responsibility -- like washing the board.

New Class Roles: Building Environments of Cooperation

Create empathy and self-esteem by assigning in-class roles and responsibilities that can help students bring out the best in themselves and each other.

SMART Goal Setting With Your Students

SMART goals are specific, measurable, action-oriented, rigorous, and tracked. Help your students develop them through a series of ongoing peer interviews.

Discuss

5 Myths Working Against Character Education in Our Schools

Last comment 16 hours 22 min ago
11 1,585 12,908 views

Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice

Last comment 1 day 21 hours ago
5 90 5,035 views

Connections, Not Consequences

Last comment 3 weeks 2 days ago
26 5,370 20,773 views

5 Myths Working Against Character Education in Our Schools

Wed, 04/06/2016 - 06:00
11 1,585 12,908 views

In Defense of Character

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 08:20
24 views

Browse

A young black girl is laying down on top of about 300 books stacked together on top of each other, looking up at the camera, smiling.
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Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice

Use young children's understanding of differences to teach social justice through age-appropriate literature, news stories, anti-bias lessons, familiar examples, and problem solving.

5 90 5,035 views
A group of six young students are standing alongside a long table with art paper stretched across it. Each student is wearing a long, white apron and is drawing on the paper with markers.
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SEL Is Good Teaching

If you're engaging all students in classroom discussions, offering them responsibility and choice, and communicating with warmth and support, you may already be teaching SEL.

2 185 1,614 views
A student is sitting at a desk with big headphones over her ears, her back facing us. She has her laptop opened with a paused video of a young boy on the screen. Her teacher is kneeling beside her desk, smiling, talking to her.
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Creating Meaningful Global Connections

U.S. middle-school students became video pen pals with their Pakistani counterparts, acquiring real-world communication skills, enhanced cultural perspective, and an awareness of their leadership skills.

6 713 2,420 views
Three young girls are standing side-by-side; the girl in the middle has her arms around the other two. They're all smiling, looking directly at the camera. Behind them are rows of purple theater seats.
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5 Myths Working Against Character Education in Our Schools

Because character education and SEL are misunderstood, they are often ignored as an integral part of the learning for which our schools are responsible.

11 1,585 12,908 views
A closeup of a young kid blowing a big bubble. He's to the left of the photo, the top of his head out of frame, and his arm is in front of his face holding an orange plastic device to blow bubbles.
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The Adolescent Brain: Leaving Childhood Behind

In her final post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels suggests how educators can ease adolescent students' transition as their maturing brains redefine purpose and identity.

3 1,847 10,084 views
A closeup of a young girl, from the chest up, sitting in a striped white, green, and blue beach chair. She has long, brown hair, braces, and is wearing a blue polo shirt. She's smiling and looking directly at the camera.
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Contagious Emotions and Responding to Stress

In her fourth post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels helps us diffuse students' stressful emotions through distancing, validating feelings, and choosing appropriate consequences.

6 1,874 20,168 views
A closeup on someone's eye. Their eye is green and blue. Their eyebrows and eyelashes are dark blond.
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Islands of Personality and Trains of Thought

In her third post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels explores visualizing the memories and emotions that inform students' identities and shape their cognitive processes.

7 1,186 14,925 views

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Motivating the Unmotivated

A simple, no-cost video chat program motivates unruly, disengaged elementary and middle school students through relationships with high school students who demonstrate the value of education.

31 28,964 186,960 views
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True Grit: The Best Measure of Success and How to Teach It

Edutopia blogger Vicki Davis identifies the nature of grit, its necessity and value of grit in education, and ten ways of teaching students to develop their own grit.

33 6,144 167,397 views
Two young girls smiling at each other with arms over each other's shoulder
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Why Teaching Kindness in Schools Is Essential to Reduce Bullying

Practicing kindness has proven health and psychological benefits, and teaching kindness contributes to behavior patterns that counteract the impulse toward bullying.

74 114,667 139,968 views
A young, teenage girl in a white collared shirt, blue and red checkered tie, and a blue jacket is standing, smiling, with trees as her backdrop.
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Behavior Expectations and How to Teach Them

Instead of assigning disciplinary consequences when students don't meet behavior expectations, why not deal them as we would deal with academic failures and missteps?

16 17,492 134,321 views
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SMART Goal Setting With Your Students

SMART goals are specific, measurable, action-oriented, rigorous, and tracked. Help your students develop them through a series of ongoing peer interviews.

5 809 131,699 views
A photo of a full bowl of water, with one drop going into it.
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Applying Mindfulness to Mundane Classroom Tasks

By adding a fun, creative element of focus and stillness to a classroom routine, you can help your students learn to appreciate and practice self-regulation.

21 17,203 116,774 views
In the multipurpose room, a large group of middle school students fill one side of the bleachers, some clapping.
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Restorative Justice: Resources for Schools

Explore resources and case studies that demonstrate how to bring restorative justice to your school or classroom.

4 4,615 100,438 views

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