George Lucas Educational Foundation Celebrating our 25th Anniversary!

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

Browse

Two young boys in shorts are standing on a beach shoreline.
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When Words Aren't Necessary

Students who don't share the same language can still connect when given time, space and freedom to explore their passions and strengths through art and play.

6 489 3,324 views
Three young girls are standing side-by-side; the girl in the middle has her arms around the other two. They're all smiling, looking directly at the camera. Behind them are rows of purple theater seats.
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5 Myths Working Against Character Education in Our Schools

Because character education and SEL are misunderstood, they are often ignored as an integral part of the learning for which our schools are responsible.

12 1,763 13,076 views
A closeup of a young kid blowing a big bubble. He's to the left of the photo, the top of his head out of frame, and his arm is in front of his face holding an orange plastic device to blow bubbles.
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The Adolescent Brain: Leaving Childhood Behind

In her final post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels suggests how educators can ease adolescent students' transition as their maturing brains redefine purpose and identity.

3 2,817 11,525 views
School corridor with yellow lockers lining both sides
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7 Steps for Turning Around Under-Resourced Schools

Steps for creating positive change at under-resourced schools include celebrating existing successes, allowing time to grow for school leadership, including the youth in school decision-making, and networking with other schools for inspiration.

12 1,447 13,741 views
A closeup of a young girl, from the chest up, sitting in a striped white, green, and blue beach chair. She has long, brown hair, braces, and is wearing a blue polo shirt. She's smiling and looking directly at the camera.
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Contagious Emotions and Responding to Stress

In her fourth post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels helps us diffuse students' stressful emotions through distancing, validating feelings, and choosing appropriate consequences.

6 2,439 22,595 views
A sketch against an orange backdrop of five high school students, three girls to the left and two boys to the right, walking side by side. Their backs are facing us. They are all wearing backpacks.
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Resources and Downloads to Support College Readiness

Discover resources and information – including downloads from schools – related to developing the awareness, knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will prepare students to enroll and succeed in college.

1 1,899 7,314 views
Two young girls are outside, smiling directly at the camera, hugging each other with one arm. They're both wearing black sweaters with red embroidered around the collar. Beneath their sweaters, they're wearing a pink, collared button up with a blue tie.
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How to Implement Social and Emotional Learning at Your School

To implement SEL at your school, use these seven activities to help students build self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.

10 3,157 23,291 views

Pages

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 11,917 74,905 views
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Activities to Build Social and Emotional Skills in Elementary Students

Filmmaker and blogger Randy Taran identifies "happiness skills" and suggests that we start teaching them at a young age.

1 569 74,461 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.

31 10,233 74,240 views
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Teaching Students to Embrace Mistakes

Guest bloggers Hunter Maats and Katie O'Brien, teachers and authors, discuss the value of making mistakes and helping students adopt the mindset to view their mistakes as healthy challenges rather than crushing defeats.

37 11,652 73,132 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 9,705 72,689 views
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Helping Students Develop the Skills to Focus

Edutopia blogger Maurice Elias shares a classroom activity that helps K-8 students develop their ability to focus and pay better attention.

24 1,191 72,245 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?

22 7,455 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 26,174 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 8,644 views