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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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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.


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.


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.


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 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.


Kindness Matters: Transforming Your Classroom and Creating a Bully-Free School

Last comment 3 days 31 min ago
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13 Common Sayings to Avoid

Last comment 1 week 2 days ago
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5 Ways to Stop Bullying and Move into Action

Last comment 1 week 1 day ago
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The "Kindness Game" Activity

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 15:59

Take a Quiz: Learn Something New About Yourself!

Tue, 07/06/2010 - 16:12
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When Students Reflect on Group Participation and Social-Emotional Goals

A focus on both individual social-emotional skills and improved group participation helps prepare students for the many future contexts in which their success will depend on both.

5 309 3,169 views

Engaging Students with Social Game Mechanics

In-class games can build social-emotional, collaboration, and problem-solving skills when they bring students face-to-face for trading, arguing, judging, persuading, guessing, and bluffing.

4 878 3,803 views

Educate to Liberate: Build an Anti-Racist Classroom

Teachers must recognize and empower students with backgrounds different from their own, including their voices in the conversation and validating their experiences and perspectives.

19 2,334 4,912 views

Caring for Teachers Supports SEL for Students

When school leaders offer such things for teachers as informal colleague mentoring and check-ins on staff wellbeing, social emotional learning for students increases in the classroom.

2 625 2,377 views

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.

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Strategies for Getting and Keeping the Brain’s Attention

Holding students' attention is about activating the right neural network. Strategies include recognizing how focus feels, giving incentives, and adjusting the pace of your teaching.

42 6,015 38,139 views

Shared Mindfulness: Building Supportive Relationships in the Classroom

By pairing students to sit back to back and focus on their breathing, you can help them develop a sense of mutuality and social awareness.

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Morning Meetings: Creating a Safe Space for Learning
Schools That Work

Morning Meetings: Creating a Safe Space for Learning

At Symonds Elementary, teachers use morning meetings to develop valuable social-emotional skills, create a culture of respect and trust, and prepare students to learn.

7,698 29,118 views

How to Start a Meditation Program in Your School

Training, consistency, and trust are keys to successfully implementing a meditation program in school.

7 330 28,960 views
How to Get Students Ready for Learning
Schools That Work

Getting Students Ready for Learning

Responsive Classroom techniques, such as relationship-building morning meetings and engaging student-led activities, get students focused and ready to learn.

3 1,186 28,485 views
Grit Curriculum Lesson: The Perseverance Walk

Grit Curriculum Lesson: The Perseverance Walk

In teacher Amy Lyon’s Perseverance Walk lesson, fifth grade students have an opportunity to interview someone who has worked hard towards a long-term goal, then create and share a presentation to illustrate a life lived with grit.

338 27,852 views

Teaching Students the ABCs of Resilience

Renee Jain, a positive psychology practitioner with a focus on SEL, discusses the ABCs of Resilience, a simple yet critical formula for helping young people overcome adversity.

6 1,495 27,694 views

Teach Mindfulness, Invite Happiness

Teaching students mindfulness can help them counteract the negative emotions and low self-esteem associated with a culture of standardized testing.

7 22,979 27,061 views

Habits of Heart: Helping Students Reflect and Act on Gratitude

Edutopia blogger Maurice Elias offers teachers several classroom activities to help students understand gratitude and put it to practice.

6 3,901 26,586 views


An Introduction to Social and Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning 101

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

7 247 26,270 views
Educating Hearts: A Districtwide Initiative to Teach How to Care

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.

13 119 11,236 views