Edutopia on Facebook
Edutopia on Twitter
Edutopia on Google+
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
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.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Share

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.


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.


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.


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 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.


Classroom Management: The Intervention Two-Step

Last comment 1 week 6 days ago
71 22,309 227,358 views

Developing Teachers' Social and Emotional Skills

Last comment 2 days 12 hours ago
9 40 2,559 views

Empathy in the Classroom: Why Should I Care?

Last comment 1 week 11 hours ago
6 5,994 9,129 views

Morning Meetings: Creating a Safe Space for Learning

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 10:00
2 7,997 42,082 views

5 Ways Literature Can Teach Global Lessons in Elementary Classes

Wed, 03/12/2014 - 10:05
8 3,087 13,760 views

5 Ways to Avoid Manipulation

Tue, 11/17/2015 - 06:00
7 1,479 13,576 views


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 2,014 views

Self-Assessment Rubric for Social & Emotional Development

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

1 3,524 views

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.

2 839 views

Teach SEL Pinterest Board

Visit Edutopia's pinboard on Pinterest to explore a curated collection of ideas and resources to support social and emotional learning in the classroom.

2 8 views

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.


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

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

9 206 views



Lessons from Star Trek: Forging a New Path in Our Schools

A valuable lesson that comes from the Star Trek television series is that social, emotional, character, and intellectual development are inextricably interconnected.

11 246 views

Developing Teachers' Social and Emotional Skills

Social and emotional competencies help teachers avoid burnout and increase well-being. By identifying our internal drivers, we use our emotional intelligence to improve our craft.

9 40 2,559 views

How Moxie Can Help Students Succeed

Moxie (a blend of positivity, purpose, and volition) helps students count their blessings and evaluate their ongoing strategies to become happier and more successful.

8 2,006 views

5 Ways to Avoid Manipulation

Avoid manipulating students into compliance by giving them a voice in classroom management procedures, using musical cues, or making allies of natural group leaders.

7 1,479 13,576 views

The Long Game: 4 Essentials for a Successful Mindfulness Program

A schoolwide mindfulness program starts with a vision, teaches it as a practice, changes school culture, and frames the effort with research and verifiable results.

1 1,254 4,342 views

Empathy in the Classroom: Why Should I Care?

The benefits of empathy in education include building positive classroom culture, strengthening community, and preparing students to be leaders in their own communities.

6 5,994 9,129 views

Using Poetry to Develop SEL

From the point of view of social-emotional and character development, poetry can help give our students insights into life and life choices.

1 640 1,405 views



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.

45 31,309 471,999 views

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.

5 228 281,052 views

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.

24 39,658 248,164 views

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.

71 22,309 227,358 views

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 5,516 139,157 views

Why Teaching Kindness in Schools Is Essential to Reduce Bullying

Practicing kindness has proven health and psychological benefits, and teaching kindness contributes to behavior patterns that counteract the impulse toward bullying.

73 112,418 132,954 views

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 7,644 131,277 views


An Introduction to Social and Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning 101

Emotional intelligence must be developed in children before any other learning can effectively take place.

7 247 25,652 views
Educating Hearts: A Districtwide Initiative to Teach How to Care

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.

13 118 11,075 views
Join the movement for change