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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 1 day ago
12 1,227 9,044 views

Quiet: Susan Cain on Approaching Introverted Students

Last comment 1 week 1 day ago
11 12 777 views

When Words Aren't Necessary

Last comment 3 days 10 hours ago
6 27 1,407 views

Fresh Starts for Hard-to-Like Students

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 06:00
48 12,215 71,828 views

When Helping Hurts

Tue, 01/12/2016 - 06:00
15 5,578 45,253 views

Judgment: Navigating Choices and Decisions

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 06:00
196 views

Resources

Screenshot of a page from How Do We Measure SEL?

Guide: How Do We Measure SEL?

Download this guide to assess and improve descriptions of social-emotional skills and character development within student report cards.

4 1,541 views
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 3,270 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 4,809 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 1,541 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 4,232 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 1,156 views

Browse

Four girls working as a team in front of a whiteboard
blog

Judgment: Navigating Choices and Decisions

Adolescents need guidance in learning judgment -- academic-cognitive and social-emotional -- while their prefrontal cortex is transitioning into a more efficient network for making decisions and achieving goals.

196 views
Two young boys in shorts are standing on a beach shoreline.
blog

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 27 1,407 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.
blog

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.

5 1,500 8,328 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.
blog

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.

2 1,760 9,487 views
School corridor with yellow lockers lining both sides
blog

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 1,227 9,044 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.
blog

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.

4 1,841 16,753 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.
article

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 1,711 6,733 views

Pages

photo of a teacher presenting to a classroom
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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.

58 36,701 582,130 views
Boy sitting in class, eyes closed, nose wrinkled, sticking his tongue out
blog

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 45,393 277,489 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.

6 283 268,631 views
Close up of three metal folding chairs with table
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 22,877 230,695 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 2,287 164,452 views
photo of community support
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 5,572 157,712 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 7,688 147,506 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 25,611 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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