George Lucas Educational Foundation

Maurice J. Elias

Prof. of Psychology; Director, Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab; Director, Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service

Maurice J. Elias is a professor in the Psychology Department at Rutgers University, director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional Learning Lab, and academic director of the Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service at Rutgers. He is past president of the Society for Community Research and Action/Division of Community Psychology (27) of the APA and has received the SCRA Distinguished Contribution to Practice and Ethnic Minority Mentoring Awards, as well as APA’s National Psychological Consultants to Management Award.

Prof. Elias lectures nationally and internationally to educators and parents about students’ emotional intelligence, school success, and social-emotional and character development. He is a recent recipient of the Sanford McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education. Among Dr. Elias’s numerous books are ASCD’s Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators, the Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving curricula for grades K–8, the new e-book Emotionally Intelligent Parenting, and a book for young children called Talking Treasure: Stories to Help Build Emotional Intelligence and Resilience in Young Children.

With colleagues at the College of St. Elizabeth, he is developing an online credentialing program for direct instruction of social-emotional and character development programs in classroom, small group, and after school settings, and for school-focused coordination of social-emotional and character development and school culture and climate.

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  • Social and Emotional Learning

    A Framework for Student Goal-Setting

    When middle and high school students set short- and long-term goals, they can see a path to the success they hope for.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Assessing Social and Emotional Learning

    A review of three types of SEL assessment, with suggestions for ways to collect and report student growth to families.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    How to Promote Social, Emotional, and Character Development

    There’s no need for funding or special training to bring these approaches and strategies into your classroom right away.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    A Two-Step Process for Reducing Chronic Absenteeism

    Getting students back in the building is just step one—next comes fostering a positive school climate so that they want to stay.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Important Questions to Ask Your Students

    Discovering your students’ answers to these questions can help you create positive conditions for learning.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Why Restorative Practices Benefit All Students

    Punitive discipline can be harmful and unfair—restorative practices offer hopeful solutions.
  • Character Education

    SMART Goal Setting With Your Students

    SMART goals are specific, measurable, action-oriented, rigorous, and tracked. Help your students develop them through a series of ongoing peer interviews.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Helping Students Develop Self-Regulation

    Guiding students to create an ongoing cycle of growth in self-regulation starts with having them set explicit goals for themselves.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Homework vs. No Homework Is the Wrong Question

    Does your school have a homework policy? How does your school ensure that teachers don't overload students with busy work?
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    SEL Skill Development During Recess and PE

    Focus, emotion regulation, and goal setting are social and emotional learning skills that teachers can address during recess and PE.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Engaged Teaching: "Do Now" Activities for Your Lessons

    Blogger Maurice Elias shares some simple tips for implementing SEL in elementary, middle and high school classes -- including a short quiet time at the beginning and end of the day, using transition circles, and reflective writing and discussion ideas.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    7 Things Parents and Teachers Should Know About Teens

    Parents and educators can become more aware of ways into the hearts and minds of teens that can make a difference.
  • Teacher Leadership

    The 7 Characteristics of a Good Leader

    Blogger Maurice Elias on school leadership through the lens of social and emotional learning.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    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.
  • Literacy

    Problem-Solving in Elementary School

    Elementary students practice problem-solving and self-questioning techniques to improve reading and social and emotional learning skills.