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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

Calming End-of-Year Stress

Last comment 2 days 18 hours ago
7 108 1,779 views

Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice

Last comment 5 days 4 hours ago
5 90 8,960 views

Exit Celebrating: 8 Epic Ideas for Ending the School Year

Last comment 4 days 22 hours ago
5 797 13,381 views

Calming End-of-Year Stress

Fri, 06/10/2016 - 06:00
7 108 1,779 views

5 Myths Working Against Character Education in Our Schools

Wed, 04/06/2016 - 06:00
12 1,603 12,933 views

How Do We Measure Social and Emotional Learning?

Wed, 03/09/2016 - 10:00
6 4,868 17,176 views

Browse

A young teenage boy in a teal t-shirt and brown pants is in the air on a skateboard. Both of his arms are extended out to his sides and his knees are up to his chest. He's hovering over a yellow beam against an off-white brick wall.
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The Teenage Brain: Stress, Coping, and Natural Highs

To help young people cope with stress and a rapidly developing brain, educate them about the "natural highs" of beneficial brain chemistry triggered by exercise and passion.

9 2,570 15,560 views
Two young, smiling boys standing in a school hallway wearing white polo shirts have an arm around each other's shoulder and are making the peace sign with their other hand.
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Motivating Successful Teamwork With Games

Launch your next student project with laughter through physical, team-building challenges like escaping the room without touching the lava field or cooperating in blindfolded dodgeball.

12 755 7,275 views
A closeup of a teenage girl sitting slouched, resting her head in her cupped hands. She's looking up and to the side with tears in her eyes. She's sitting in a naturally lit room with couches, comfy chairs, coffee tables, and a small, potted tree.
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Helping Students Who Have Experienced Trauma

To help a student who's experienced trauma, ground yourself emotionally, determine your own role, and address that student's emotional truth from a place of informed support.

8 1,715 13,135 views
Four young students are sitting together at two, two-person desks put together as one table. They're near the front of the classroom near a whiteboard. The two girls are looking down, writing, and the two boys are looking up, smiling.
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Fostering Identity Safety in Your Classroom

Dissolve stereotype threat and increase identity safety by affirming all types of identity, modeling strategic vulnerability, inviting students into self-authorship, and creating identity safe classroom agreements.

5 1,216 4,449 views
A closeup, side profile of a young girl with glasses standing in a classroom, reading a music sheet.
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Connections, Not Consequences

For individual student behavior issues, rely less on consequences and more on personal connections, scaffolding your process with dialogue, negotiation, and ultimately agreement.

26 5,387 21,016 views
A closeup of a side profile of a young female student looking out a window. Her left cheek is resting against her left hand, and there's a hair tie around her wrist.
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Student Autonomy, Compliance, and Intrinsic Motivation

The pressures of education today seem to be tilting the balance toward order and compliance, and this can have harmful long-term consequences for both children and society.

13 1,558 9,902 views
Three elementary school children sitting together at a table in class coloring with markers
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Why Social and Emotional Learning Is Essential for Students

Learn more about the critical role that social and emotional learning plays in promoting student success.

2 7,930 20,410 views

Pages

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The Power of the Morning Meeting: 5 Steps Toward Changing Your Classroom and School Culture

Edutopia blogger Lisa Dabbs shares her own transformative experience with the Morning Meeting model and suggests five steps for integrating this practice into the classroom.

33 2,645 79,618 views
Illo of a profile silhouette of a girl with a heart in her head
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Fresh Starts for Hard-to-Like Students

Improve trust and communication with difficult students by expressing gratitude, using encouraging statements, and treating them in the same way you treat your best students.

49 12,528 77,395 views
A photo of a young boy kneeling on a giant map of the world.
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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.

7 11,740 74,566 views
Older girl laughing sitting next to man using a computer
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New Study: Engage Kids With 7x the Effect

The way to engage students is to make sure that they care about the material and that they know how much you care about them.

4 5,403 71,737 views
Yellow dunce cap sitting on a stool in front of a blackboard
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12 Ways to Avoid Student Humiliation

Embarrassing or belittling students may interfere with learning and lead to long-term resentment. Teachers should treat students respectfully and be mindful of their feelings.

30 10,009 69,312 views
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Teaching Empathy: Turning a Lesson Plan into a Life Skill

Guest blogger Joe Hirsch, teacher leader and curriculum developer, describes the jigsaw method of cooperative learning and how it naturally builds empathy as students rely on each other to share pieces of a bigger picture.

16 9,702 69,312 views
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Simple Ways to Cultivate Happiness in Schools

Blogger Elena Aguilar asks, how might you bring more happiness and well-being to your school?

23 7,454 69,312 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 25,462 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 10,104 views
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