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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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When Social, Emotional, and Character Development Goes Statewide

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Implementing a School-Wide Mindfulness Program

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Browse

blog

Count Basie's Blues: Literature, Art and Vulnerability

Guest blogger Florina Rodov, an educational entrepreneur with an inner city teaching background, shares her story of a gifted student dealing with a difficult life by embracing the arts.

2 186 479 views
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How Two Middle Schoolers Spread Holiday Cheer with 800 Sticky Notes

Eighth graders Damian Marlow and Mary MartinezSmith describe how, armed only with generous hearts and 800 sticky notes, they made the holiday season a little better for everyone at their school.

1 338 3,493 views
blog

You've Got to Reach Before You Teach

Edutopia blogger Maurice Elias shares strategies and activities to help educators effectively reach students.

6 459 5,868 views
blog

Christmas vs. Classroom: Bring It In

Guest blogger Frances Peacock acknowledges that, when it comes to her students, she's no match for the Christmas spirit, and she beautifully details her terms of surrender.

1 114 1,398 views
blog

Sandy Hook and Hands of Hope: Safer Schools Within Our Reach

Guest blogger Jessica Lura discusses the Hands of Hope project, a lesson designed to commemorate the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting while starting an ongoing national conversation about school safety.

1 129 1,398 views
blog

A Mid-Year Reflection for Teachers and Students

Blogger Maurice Elias offers up useful activities to help teachers and students reflect halfway through the school year.

2 361 11,590 views
blog

Creating More Compassionate Classrooms

Guest blogger and high school humanities teacher Joshua Block shares the six structural and pedagogical reminders he uses to steadily improve the ethic of compassion in his classroom.

9 806 16,058 views

Pages

blog

Building Social and Emotional Skills in Elementary Students: Inner Meanie and Inner Friend

In Part 5 of her elementary student SEL series, filmmaker Randy Taran shows how the Inner Positive Friend can defeat the Inner Negative Meanie.

1 183 11,038 views
blog

Helping Students Find Purpose and Appreciation for School

There are four areas that matter most to job satisfaction and productivity teachers can apply to their own work -- and to the lessons they design for students.

6 650 10,758 views
blog

How More Social and Emotional Learning (and Less Academics) Actually Builds Academic Success

Elementary school principal Scott McFarland explains why helping children relax and self-regulate also helps them become better students.

23 1,057 10,619 views
blog

Five-Minute Film Festival: Freedom to Fail Forward

Knowing how to learn from failure can be a key to success. In this playlist, VideoAmy curates the best videos and resources for encouraging students to be resilient and embrace mistakes.

1 1,391 10,479 views
blog

Q&A with Daniel Goleman: How the Research Supports Social-Emotional Learning

Research shows that SEL increases prosocial classroom behavior, teaches cognitive control, changes students' home life, and prepares them for future success.

9 1,776 10,479 views
article

Early-Childhood Education Takes to the Outdoors

Kids in Waldkindergarten, also known as forest kindergarten, are building fires and braving the snow. And they're all the better for it.

5 23 10,479 views
blog

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

Blogger Elena Aguilar shares highlights from Paul Tough's new book, How Children Succeed.

14 294 10,339 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 27,535 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 11,590 views