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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

Tools to Assess Social and Emotional Learning in Schools

Last comment 2 weeks 21 hours ago
4 1,287 12,439 views

Fair Isn’t Equal: Seven Classroom Tips

Last comment 1 week 4 days ago
13 2,060 91,632 views

Gratitude: A Powerful Tool for Your Classroom

Last comment 1 day 18 hours ago
9 5,345 23,841 views

Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 06:00
6 10,221 20,317 views

Gratitude: A Powerful Tool for Your Classroom

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 11:55
9 5,345 23,841 views

Sometimes Misbehavior Is Not What It Seems

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 06:00
27 45,493 282,360 views

Browse

A closeup of the right side of young girl's face. She has an off-white cloth wrapped partially around her head with her brunette bangs showing, covering her forehead.
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Creating Core Memories in the Classroom

In her second post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels suggests creating positive academic core memories by respecting your classroom's emotional climate and engaging students' curiosity and anticipation.

1,274 5,396 views
A young boy wearing a striped blue and orange t-shirt is looking at a bubble in front of his forehead that is almost the size of his head. He's outside. Behind him is grass next to a brick floor with a basketball hoop and a tree fence.
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How Emotions Affect Learning, Behaviors, and Relationships

In the first of five posts about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels offers strategies to help explore how joy, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust can help students.  

28 12,776 54,316 views
Two young kids are walking away from the camera along a gravel path with tall grass and trees on both sides. They're both wearing jeans and sweatshirts and one of them is wearing a beanie.
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How Do We Measure Social and Emotional Learning?

Those concise assessments about social-emotional skills and character on the back of a report card can become valuable talking points between schools, parents, and students.  

6 5,224 24,878 views
Four female students are standing in a hallway beside their lockers, talking to each other in pairs.
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OMG, I Can't Even: Drama, Social Skills, and the Teenage Brain

Teen drama is the natural disconnect in socially and emotionally developing brains. Help them by honoring (not judging) their experience, teaching social skills, and encouraging reflection.

4 2,472 17,622 views
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 2,817 16,378 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.
blog

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.

12 756 7,680 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 2,733 14,097 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 2,651 80,852 views
blog

Empathy: The Most Important Back-to-School Supply

Author and global ed advisor Homa Tavangar makes a case for why empathy is the most important back-to-school supply we can give our children.

28 15,842 80,645 views
A photo of a young boy kneeling on a giant map of the world.
blog

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 11,763 75,876 views
A photo of 2 elementary-school boys going under a limbo bar.
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Incentivizing Your Class: The Engagement-Based Classroom Management Model

Invite your students to participate in a behavioral model that helps them level up with their engagement and attitude -- much like a video game.

6 6,760 73,389 views
Yellow dunce cap sitting on a stool in front of a blackboard
blog

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 10,017 71,108 views
article

Powerful Learning: Studies Show Deep Understanding Derives from Collaborative Methods

Cooperative learning and inquiry-based teaching yield big dividends in the classroom. And now we have the research to prove it.

12 194 70,901 views
Older girl laughing sitting next to man using a computer
blog

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 5,402 70,694 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 25,914 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 9,536 views
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