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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Social and Emotional Learning

Find and share resources for creating a healthy school culture by helping students develop skills to manage their emotions, resolve conflicts, and make responsible decisions.

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Overview

What is Social and Emotional Learning?

When students work together on project teams, they learn to collaborate, communicate, and resolve conflicts. Cooperative learning and character development supports the social and emotional development of students and prepares them for success in the modern workplace. Watch an introduction video.

History

A Short History

Teaching the soft skills, traditionally associated with conflict resolution and character education, has evolved from being considered "wishy-washy" to being an integral part of educating the whole child. See how a movement takes off.

Experts

What Experts Say

National and local experts discuss how educating the whole child by including social and emotional skills with academics is critical for success in school and in life. See what the experts say.

Research

SEL Research Review

Numerous research reports show that social and emotional learning (SEL) can have a positive impact on students' academic performance. Edutopia's SEL research review explores those reports and helps make sense of the results. Dig deeper.

Why

Why Champion SEL?

Helping students develop a sense of self will ultimately help them to better manage their emotions, communicate, and resolve conflicts nonviolently. See how to help students build character.

Discuss

When Words Aren't Necessary

Last comment 3 weeks 2 days ago
6 350 2,149 views

How Emotions Affect Learning, Behaviors, and Relationships

Last comment 5 days 8 hours ago
27 11,201 49,421 views

SEL Is Good Teaching

Last comment 1 week 5 days ago
2 161 2,564 views

Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 18:24
6 2,047 51,970 views

Homework vs. No Homework Is the Wrong Question

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 10:00
62 20,675 137,672 views

How Emotions Affect Learning, Behaviors, and Relationships

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 06:00
27 11,201 49,421 views

Resources

Screenshot of a page from How Do We Measure SEL?

Guide: How Do We Measure SEL?

Download this guide to assess and improve descriptions of social-emotional skills and character development within student report cards.

4 1,569 views
Photo of students standing in front of lockers

Self-Assessment Questions for Social & Emotional Development

Download a list of self-reflection questions to help you support student self-assessment of social and emotional learning.

2 3,529 views
Photo of students sitting and talking

Self-Assessment Rubric for Social & Emotional Development

Download a rubric template to help you support student self-assessment of social and emotional learning.

1 4,898 views
Photo of two students reading together

Goals Worksheet for Social & Emotional Development

Download a list with examples of daily goals and big goals to help you guide student goal-setting for social and emotional learning and development.

2 1,569 views
Graphic of colorful mosaic

Handbook: Stress-Reduction Activities for Students

Download a handbook from Glenview Elementary School in Oakland, California, with nine practical and fun classroom activities that promote stress-management skills for students.

2 4,310 views
screenshot of report cover: The Economic Value of SEL

Study: Social and Emotional Learning Yields Major Economic Benefits

There's ample research showing the academic benefits of social and emotional learning, but a new study provides an even stronger reason to implement SEL in schools.

2 1,177 views

Browse

High school students are sitting in class, looking towards the front, smiling.
blog

Tips and Resources for Funding an SEL Program

When funding your SEL program, whether through government or private sources, remember that relationships, partnerships, and united fronts matter, and that vision and flexibility are critical.

363 views
A young, blond boy in a blue, white, and black flannel button up shirt is standing outside, holding a big, dry, light brown leaf. Tall redwood trees are surrounding him on a sunny day.
article

Resources on Mindfulness in Education

Discover how mindfulness practices are being applied in schools, learn about some of the early research on benefits, and explore classroom, school-wide, and after-school strategies and programs.

866 8,669 views
A U.S. army soldier in uniform is kneeling, reading to a group of young kids around him.
blog

Understanding the Needs of Students From Military Families

Children of military and veteran families need to be understand, have their assets celebrated, and be part of a positive school climate. Use the resources we suggest to educate yourself about and identify your military-connected students.

1 602 1,154 views
Teaching Group Work: Building Student Collaboration and Agency
Schools That Work

Teaching Group Work: Building Student Collaboration and Agency

At University Park Campus School, students learn through group work that they have something to contribute.

1 30 2,412 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.
blog

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.

2 161 2,564 views
Four girls working as a team in front of a whiteboard
blog

Judgment: Navigating Choices and Decisions

Adolescents need guidance in learning judgment -- academic-cognitive and social-emotional -- while their prefrontal cortex is transitioning into a more efficient network for making decisions and achieving goals.

69 1,084 views
Two young boys in shorts are standing on a beach shoreline.
blog

When Words Aren't Necessary

Students who don't share the same language can still connect when given time, space and freedom to explore their passions and strengths through art and play.

6 350 2,149 views

Pages

photo of a teacher presenting to a classroom
blog

13 Common Sayings to Avoid

Teachers should avoid the reflexive language of anger or frustration. Here's a list of these sayings, framed as opportunities to constructively address difficult student behavior.

58 37,001 582,067 views
Boy sitting in class, eyes closed, nose wrinkled, sticking his tongue out
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Sometimes Misbehavior Is Not What It Seems

Misbehaving students might like you too much or be physically attracted. Maybe they want attention or want you to prove yourself. Be sensitive to underlying reasons.

26 45,393 278,874 views
article

Core Strategies for Innovation and Reform in Learning

See an overview of Edutopia's core strategies, including project-based learning, social-emotional learning, comprehensive assessment, technology integration, integrated studies and teacher development.

6 283 265,735 views
Close up of three metal folding chairs with table
blog

Classroom Management: The Intervention Two-Step

Edutopia blogger Rick Curwin examines what happens when a student acts up in class, and illustrates how dealing with it is a two-step process - stabilize the situation ASAP, and intervene at a later, calmer moment.

73 22,900 230,826 views
blog

7 Tips for Better Classroom Management

Tyler Hester, teacher and professional development coach, offers seven compelling tips - and one amazing video - about the roots of better classroom management.

49 2,294 169,835 views
photo of community support
blog

5 Ways to Stop Bullying and Move into Action

Becki Cohn-Vargas, Director of Not In Our School, presents five ways to empower and motivate young people to turn a climate of bullying into one of safety and acceptance.

32 5,582 160,029 views
blog

Teaching Your Students How to Have a Conversation

Guest blogger Dr. Allen Mendler presents eight strategies for helping your students reclaim and master the lost art of conversation.

19 7,781 150,616 views

Pages

An Introduction to Social and Emotional Learning
Video

Social and Emotional Learning 101

Emotional intelligence must be developed in children before any other learning can effectively take place.

7 288 25,691 views
Educating Hearts: A Districtwide Initiative to Teach How to Care
Video

Educating Hearts: A Districtwide Initiative to Teach How to Care

The Anchorage School District's investment in social and emotional learning is paying off both socially and academically.

13 129 10,188 views