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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 6 days ago
6 350 2,260 views

5 Myths Working Against Character Education in Our Schools

Last comment 2 days 17 hours ago
10 1,547 11,812 views

SEL Is Good Teaching

Last comment 2 weeks 2 days ago
2 184 2,691 views

Connections, Not Consequences

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 10:00
24 3,429 17,915 views

Teach Mindfulness, Invite Happiness

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 10:00
10 27,743 39,570 views

Contagious Emotions and Responding to Stress

Thu, 03/31/2016 - 10:00
5 1,842 17,521 views

Browse

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.

10 1,547 11,812 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 1,812 10,828 views
School corridor with yellow lockers lining both sides
blog

7 Steps for Turning Around Under-Resourced Schools

Steps for creating positive change at under-resourced schools include celebrating existing successes, allowing time to grow for school leadership, including the youth in school decision-making, and networking with other schools for inspiration.

12 1,238 12,009 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.

5 1,842 17,521 views
A sketch against an orange backdrop of five high school students, three girls to the left and two boys to the right, walking side by side. Their backs are facing us. They are all wearing backpacks.
article

Resources and Downloads to Support College Readiness

Discover resources and information – including downloads from schools – related to developing the awareness, knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will prepare students to enroll and succeed in college.

1 1,728 6,890 views
Two young girls are outside, smiling directly at the camera, hugging each other with one arm. They're both wearing black sweaters with red embroidered around the collar. Beneath their sweaters, they're wearing a pink, collared button up with a blue tie.
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How to Implement Social and Emotional Learning at Your School

To implement SEL at your school, use these seven activities to help students build self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.

10 2,834 13,977 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 1,110 14,174 views

Pages

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.

74 114,667 138,593 views
Two young boys wearing backpacks rushing down the front steps of school
blog

Homework vs. No Homework Is the Wrong Question

Does your school have a homework policy? How does your school ensure that teachers don't overload students with busy work?

62 20,675 137,806 views
article

How to Develop Positive Classroom Management

We've gathered tips from educators about proactive discipline methods. Join the conversation and share your experience about what works.

39 381 137,412 views
A young girl is sitting in class, looking straight ahead with a playing card in her hand and a green sheet of paper on her desk. Other students in the classroom are sitting with green sheets of paper and playing cards about.
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Golden Rules for Engaging Students in Learning Activities

Six key rules for student engagement include making it meaningful, fostering efficacy, autonomy support, collaborative learning, establishing positive teacher-student relationships, and mastery orientations.

18 10,431 131,900 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 17,457 131,506 views
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Integrating the 16 Habits of Mind

Edutopia blogger Terry Heick provides a quick tour of Costa and Kallick's 16 Habits of Mind, along with suggestions for integrating them as classroom best practices.

5 1,175 128,553 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.

5 807 125,797 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 25,789 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 10,237 views