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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 2 days ago
4 1,287 12,452 views

Fair Isn’t Equal: Seven Classroom Tips

Last comment 1 week 6 days ago
13 2,060 91,733 views

Gratitude: A Powerful Tool for Your Classroom

Last comment 3 days 21 min ago
9 5,345 23,867 views

Turning Classes Into Communities

Fri, 12/18/2015 - 12:00
7 2,120 9,339 views

Use Humor to Teach Your Students About Careful Communication

Fri, 12/18/2015 - 06:00
4 1,916 11,000 views

Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 06:00
6 10,221 20,339 views

Browse

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 1,218 4,572 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 5,389 21,792 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.

14 2,350 11,622 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 9,792 22,622 views
An illustration of a man standing, flexing his arms. His shadow is projected on a wall and is about 6 times bigger than him, looking similar to the Hulk.
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How High Is the Wall?

Children's concerns about comfort, safety, or self-esteem might seem trivial, but your compassionate listening can help resolve small issues or shed light on larger ones.

11 541 2,494 views
A closeup of a young teenage woman's face. She's looking down and her chin is resting on her clasped hands. Her long, wavy hair is covering half of her face.
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Helping Your Students Cope With a Violent World

Strategies for helping children make sense of a violent world include historical perspective, risk assessment of their daily lives, writing to leaders, and reaching out to victims.

9 657 1,662 views
blog

3 Videos on the Importance of Empathy

These three videos on the importance of empathy will help inspire a conversation in the classroom and beyond. 

5 1,670 13,075 views

Pages

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Self-Assessment Inspires Learning

Read and download this self-assessment rubric and accompanying questions to help you assess your own or your students' social and emotional development this year.

6 600 70,149 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 7,455 70,149 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 9,707 69,526 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 11,647 69,111 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.

1 566 68,904 views
Morning Meetings: Creating a Safe Space for Learning
Schools That Work

Morning Meetings: Creating a Safe Space for Learning

At Symonds Elementary, teachers use morning meetings to develop valuable social-emotional skills, create a culture of respect and trust, and prepare students to learn.

3 9,003 66,828 views
Boy happily running with his backpack
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Helping Students Start the School Year With a Positive Mindset

Three activities teachers can use to help students -- especially those who had a rough summer or struggle academically -- get the school year off to a fresh start.

11 4,816 65,375 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 25,943 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 9,547 views
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