Edutopia on Facebook
Edutopia on Twitter
Edutopia on Google+
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
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.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Share

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.


Classroom Management: The Intervention Two-Step

Last comment 2 weeks 11 hours ago
71 22,309 227,349 views

Developing Teachers' Social and Emotional Skills

Last comment 13 hours 38 min ago
10 40 2,919 views

5 Ways to Avoid Manipulation

Last comment 1 day 1 hour ago
8 1,479 13,764 views

Homework vs. No Homework Is the Wrong Question

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 10:00
57 17,076 101,753 views

The Responsive Classroom: "Why Is Everyone So Nice Here?"

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 12:00
5 5,169 17,303 views

Lessons from Star Trek: Forging a New Path in Our Schools

Wed, 11/25/2015 - 10:00
1 11 440 views



Hard Steps Not Yet Taken: Ending Bullying in Our Schools

When it comes to bullying, schools must make hard, prompt, and professional decisions to ensure a safe learning environment for all students.

5 1,111 5,206 views

Schools and the "instaself" Lives of Teens

As the app world encourages students to turn inward, schools can serve the critical role of reconnecting them to the world where they actually live.

1 278 2,687 views

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.

9 3,460 4,030 views

Teaching Empathy: Are We Teaching Content or Students?

Teaching empathy is about teaching students, not content -- how they feel about the incoming knowledge will ultimately determine how useful it is to them.

4 10,223 26,194 views

8 Steps to Combat the Bullying Epidemic

Don't wait for the next Bullying Prevention Month. Take steps now, including compassion instead of zero tolerance, community involvement, and cross-curriculum integration (especially the arts).

17 2,246 5,038 views

3 Strategies for Authentic Race, Class, and Gender Discussions

When discussing potentially divisive issues, create an environment that supports agreement, guide the conversation with thoughtful questions, and actively listen to what others say.

2 1,340 5,877 views
Recess for High School Students
Schools That Work

Recess for High School Students

Last year, Montpelier High shifted its schedule to free up 15 minutes -- for recess. Teachers and students find they are more calm and focused, with a camaraderie that continues into the classroom.

2 23,688 36,100 views



Use Music to Develop Kids' Skills and Character

Songs with lyrics are often considered a teaching tool of yesterday, but it could come in handy when developing social and emotional skills in your students.

62 174 29,216 views

Teaching Grit: How to Help Students Overcome Inner Obstacles

In the second of her two-part series about grit, guest blogger Vicki Zakrzewski looks at how to encourage self-perception and emotional management in an academic setting, with help from Edutopia's video team.

1 1,270 29,048 views

Clowning Around: There's a Comedian in Every Classroom

The class clown can ruin the mood to learn, but with a little understanding and a riff of your own, you can stop these jokesters from bouncing off the walls.

8 157 27,705 views

How to Address Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom

Tips and resources for putting MI theory into practice.

7 60 27,537 views

To Improve School Climate, Examine Recess

Jill Vialet, Founder and CEO of Playworks, presents research about the SEL benefits of school recess, and offers five steps toward improving school climate by improving what happens on the playground.

7 2,707 26,698 views

Teaching Empathy: Are We Teaching Content or Students?

Teaching empathy is about teaching students, not content -- how they feel about the incoming knowledge will ultimately determine how useful it is to them.

4 10,223 26,194 views

Controlling the Power of Words: Teaching Students How to Confront Insults

Instead of surrendering their power to the person who insults them, students should learn why some words are triggers and how to master their own reactions.

9 3,864 25,858 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 25,690 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.

13 118 11,095 views
Join the movement for change