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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

7 Steps for Turning Around Under-Resourced Schools

Last comment 1 week 2 days ago
12 1,227 11,567 views

Quiet: Susan Cain on Approaching Introverted Students

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11 12 803 views

When Words Aren't Necessary

Last comment 4 days 7 hours ago
6 27 1,518 views

SEL Is Good Teaching

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 06:00

Fresh Starts for Hard-to-Like Students

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 06:00
48 12,215 73,068 views

When Helping Hurts

Tue, 01/12/2016 - 06:00
15 5,578 45,306 views

Browse

A closeup of a young boy with his head down, tears trickling down his cheeks.
blog

Let the Child Cry: How Tears Support Social and Emotional Development

Crying is an important part of children's social-emotional development. Instead of demanding that they stop, create an emotionally safe classroom with patience, acceptance, and compassion.

8 36,209 52,053 views
Teachers and students are sitting in a uniquely designed and furnished classroom with different sitting chairs and different sized and shaped tables.
blog

Brain Labs: A Place to Enliven Learning

If your school had a student-friendly environment for teaching children about metacognition, children could develop their skills in self-reflection, paying attention, emotional regulation, and cognitive flexibility.

1 6,000 27,955 views
Two young girls are sitting in class with two tablets raised in front of them on their table. They're both looking at the same screen while one of them is playing a game on the tablet.
blog

Using Digital Games for SEL Assessment and Skill Building

Digital games can provide students with situations that allow them to tackle challenges and situations that call upon their social-emotional skills.

5 596 3,274 views
A lot of young students are sitting outside on a blacktop, with teachers standing behind them, all facing the same direction.
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Reintegrative Shame: The Dynamic of Harm and Repair

A critical piece of restorative justice, reintegrative shame looks at the behavioral issues of crime and punishment through a lens of harm and repair.

8 1,856 16,387 views
Social and Emotional Learning: A Schoolwide Approach
Schools That Work

Social and Emotional Learning: A Schoolwide Approach

Strategies like mindfulness, emotional regulation, and supportive small groups help Symonds meet the academic and social needs of their students.

1 2,635 13,881 views
Man singing and playing the guitar in the gym full of students and teachers
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Goodbye, Old Bell: Graduating Students Speak From the Heart

Graduating fifth-grade students reflect on their struggles, growth, and achievements within the positive, caring environment of SEL-based Symonds Elementary School.

238 771 views
A poster pinned on the wall drawn by students that says "Be A Friend"
blog

The Responsive Classroom: "Why Is Everyone So Nice Here?"

Through Responsive Classroom practices such as Social Thinking, Symonds Elementary teaches its students daily that who they learn with is as important as what they learn.

7 10,458 31,232 views

Pages

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5 Simple Lessons for Social and Emotional Learning for Adults

Edutopia blogger Elena Aguilar offers up five lessons to use with school staff and faculty for building emotional awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

6 8,741 46,462 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.  

24 10,832 46,077 views
A photo of an elementary-school boy writing in his notebook.
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Strategies for Getting and Keeping the Brain’s Attention

Holding students' attention is about activating the right neural network. Strategies include recognizing how focus feels, giving incentives, and adjusting the pace of your teaching.

42 6,075 45,884 views
blog

Your Face Scares Me: Understanding the Hyperrational Adolescent Brain

Edutopia blogger Todd Finley explores the power and purpose of the teenage brain, discovering surprises such as low dopamine levels, abundant of hyperrationality, and how adults can enable teen impulse by subtly redirecting it.

5 9,061 45,499 views
An adult woman with her hair pulled back in a ponytail is wearing a cowl neck maroon and beige checkered hoodie, standing with her elbows at her sides and her hands raised, as if she's addressing an audience.
blog

When Helping Hurts

Learning includes developing time-management skills, making choices, meeting deadlines, and coping with possible failure. This becomes harder when adults try to make students' lives too easy.

15 5,578 45,306 views
A young woman is sitting on a window sill in a dark room, looking outside the window.
blog

Brains in Pain Cannot Learn!

Young people experiencing anxiety or depression are unable to learn. We can overcome this through physical movement, focused attention practices, and teaching them about how brains work.

19 9,571 44,149 views
blog

Resources for Learning About Empathy on Valentine's Day

Empathy is an important skill. In honor of Valentine's Day, Matt Davis has gathered a variety of great resources to help teachers bring lessons about compassion and caring into the classroom.

4 3,702 43,185 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 25,641 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 10,206 views
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