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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

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S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Introductions: Teaching Soft Skills to Our Students

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Gratitude Builds Character and Health

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Sometimes Misbehavior Is Not What It Seems

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Browse

Grit Curriculum Lesson: The Perseverance Walk
video

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.

262 21,884 views
Teaching Grit Cultivates Resilience and Perseverance
video

Teaching Grit Cultivates Resilience and Perseverance (Research Made Relevant Series)

In rural New Hampshire, fifth-grade teacher Amy Lyon has created a curriculum based on researcher Angela Duckworth’s ideas about grit. Students set and work toward their own long-term goals, learning valuable lessons about dealing with frustration...

2 436 14,730 views
blog

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.

1 544 23,427 views
blog

Bullying Prevention: Students Share Dos and Don'ts

Edutopia blogger Maurice Elias shares a recently published study of nearly fourteen thousand students who shared their opinions on bullying prevention at their schools.

8 558 6,456 views
blog

Teaching Grit: Social and Emotional Truth

Guest blogger Vicki Zakrzewski, in the first of two parts, examines the emerging concept of 'grit' - what it is, what it isn't, and whether this is something that is best taught or encouraged.

2 300 5,334 views
blog

5 Simple Lessons for Social and Emotional Learning for Adults

Edutopia blogger Elena Aguilar offers up five lessons to use with school staff and faculty for building emotional awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

5 917 36,754 views
blog

It's Time for Social and Emotional Learning for All

Edutopia blogger Elena Aguilar makes a case for social and emotional learning for adults as well as children on all school campuses.

7 736 10,948 views

Pages

blog

Gratitude: A Powerful Tool for Your Classroom

By exercising the "gratitude muscle" with a gratitude journal, students can harness positive thinking to increase their grades, goals, and quality of life.

4 882 14,028 views
article

Social and Emotional Learning: 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.

3 76 14,028 views
article

To Enable Learning, Put (Emotional) Safety First

Building a secure, supportive classroom environment is essential to allow young brains to learn.

2 108 13,748 views
How Canada Is Closing the Achievement Gap (Education Everywhere Series)
video

How Canada Is Closing the Achievement Gap (Education Everywhere Series)

In Ontario, schools have raised their test scores and graduation rates by providing resources such as full-time student success teachers, who help English-language learners and other students in need.

2 158 13,608 views
blog

Laughter and Learning: Humor Boosts Retention

Humor activates the brain's dopamine reward system, stimulating goal-oriented motivation and long-term memory, which means that humor can improve retention in students of all ages.

16 1,020 13,327 views
blog

Creating Classrooms for Social Justice

Teach your students about making positive change in the world by connecting with them, discussing real-world problems and multiple perspectives, creating classroom community, and including authentic assessment.

5 848 13,046 views
article

Dealing with Pregnant Teens Is a Balancing Act for Schools

How adults can help students juggle pregnancy, parenthood, and school.

2 1 12,766 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 87 27,355 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 57 11,503 views