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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

How and Why Intrinsic Motivation Works

Last comment 3 days 8 hours ago
19 2,656 13,959 views

12 Ways to Avoid Student Humiliation

Last comment 4 days 54 min ago
26 7,590 50,287 views

Boosting Comprehension Through Empathy

Last comment 2 days 15 hours ago
10 6 654 views

Empathy in the Classroom: Why Should I Care?

Wed, 11/11/2015 - 09:00
8 6,573 14,316 views

How High Is the Wall?

Wed, 02/10/2016 - 10:00
8 681 views

3 Videos on the Importance of Empathy

Fri, 01/29/2016 - 10:00
3 590 8,203 views

Resources

Photo of students standing in front of lockers

Self-Assessment Questions for Social & Emotional Development

Download a list of self-reflection questions to help you support student self-assessment of social and emotional learning.

2 2,504 views
Photo of students sitting and talking

Self-Assessment Rubric for Social & Emotional Development

Download a rubric template to help you support student self-assessment of social and emotional learning.

1 3,577 views
Photo of two students reading together

Goals Worksheet for Social & Emotional Development

Download a list with examples of daily goals and big goals to help you guide student goal-setting for social and emotional learning and development.

2 1,073 views
Graphic of colorful mosaic

Handbook: Stress-Reduction Activities for Students

Download a handbook from Glenview Elementary School in Oakland, California, with nine practical and fun classroom activities that promote stress-management skills for students.

2 1,967 views
screenshot of report cover: The Economic Value of SEL

Study: Social and Emotional Learning Yields Major Economic Benefits

There's ample research showing the academic benefits of social and emotional learning, but a new study provides an even stronger reason to implement SEL in schools.

2 894 views
screenshot of the article

Study: Kindergarteners Who Share Are More Likely to Be Successful Adults

Teaching children to be kind can have major benefits decades later.

2 206 views

Browse

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.
blog

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.

8 681 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.

8 543 1,932 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. 

3 590 8,203 views
Response to Intervention: Safe Spaces for Math and Literacy
Schools That Work

Response to Intervention: Safe Spaces for Math and Literacy

At Charles R. Drew Charter School, the Literacy Center and Math Lab provide fun, engaging, and enriching interventions to help support students most in need.

1 1,379 6,138 views
In the background, a lot of young students are playing outside on cement, closed in by their surrounding classrooms. At the forefront, five students are sitting around a small rectangular table with their elbows on the table and their hands raised, smilin
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History, Empathy, Systems Thinking, and Gaming

One teacher used a unique social deduction game to build a unit on the Salem Witch Trials that also taught students empathy and systems thinking.  

2 407 5,869 views
A young man is sitting against a tree with his head buried in his hands.
blog

Our Students' Reality: We Can't Ignore It

By making classrooms places where real-world work and thinking happen, we encourage inquiry, conversation, and conflict in hopes of creating something better for our students.

223 1,968 views
Six high school students, all in green shirts, are sitting in a row at individual desks looking towards the front of the class. One of them has their hand raised.
blog

How and Why Intrinsic Motivation Works

Discover approaches for helping students feel personal autonomy, choice, and self-determination.

19 2,656 13,959 views

Pages

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blog

13 Common Sayings to Avoid

Teachers should avoid the reflexive language of anger or frustration. Here's a list of these sayings, framed as opportunities to constructively address difficult student behavior.

54 35,651 555,659 views
article

Core Strategies for Innovation and Reform in Learning

See an overview of Edutopia's core strategies, including project-based learning, social-emotional learning, comprehensive assessment, technology integration, integrated studies and teacher development.

6 278 278,993 views
Boy sitting in class, eyes closed, nose wrinkled, sticking his tongue out
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Sometimes Misbehavior Is Not What It Seems

Misbehaving students might like you too much or be physically attracted. Maybe they want attention or want you to prove yourself. Be sensitive to underlying reasons.

26 45,293 275,414 views
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blog

Classroom Management: The Intervention Two-Step

Edutopia blogger Rick Curwin examines what happens when a student acts up in class, and illustrates how dealing with it is a two-step process - stabilize the situation ASAP, and intervene at a later, calmer moment.

73 22,766 232,106 views
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blog

5 Ways to Stop Bullying and Move into Action

Becki Cohn-Vargas, Director of Not In Our School, presents five ways to empower and motivate young people to turn a climate of bullying into one of safety and acceptance.

32 5,568 147,281 views
blog

7 Tips for Better Classroom Management

Tyler Hester, teacher and professional development coach, offers seven compelling tips - and one amazing video - about the roots of better classroom management.

49 2,098 141,196 views
blog

Teaching Your Students How to Have a Conversation

Guest blogger Dr. Allen Mendler presents eight strategies for helping your students reclaim and master the lost art of conversation.

19 7,667 139,407 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.

7 286 25,591 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 11,095 views
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