George Lucas Educational Foundation

Richard Curwin

Director, Graduate Program in Behavior Disorder, David Yellin College

I am the author or coauthor of about 20 books related to behavior and motivation, including Discipline With Dignity and Meeting Students Where They Live: Motivation in Urban Schools. I have done training in educational environments worldwide and now have settled in Israel to live near my children and grandchildren. I write occasional editorials for The Jerusalem Post and continue to love teaching. My students include Jewish, Muslim, and Christian teachers from all sectors of Israel who work well together and all pray for peace in the Holy Land.


  • Student Engagement

    5 Ways to Make Class Discussions More Exciting

    Classroom discussions have been a staple of teaching forever, beginning with Socrates. I have taught using discussions, been a student in discussions, and observed other teachers' discussions thousands of times -- at least. Some have been boring, stifling or tedious enough to put me to sleep. Others have been so stimulating that I was sad to see them end. The difference between the two is obviously how interesting the topic is, but equally important is the level of student participation.
  • Bullying Prevention

    How to Respond When Students Use Hate Speech

    Some activities for creating a healthy classroom culture.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    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.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    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.
  • Classroom Management

    Classroom Management: The Intervention Two-Step

    Before moving to resolve a tense situation with a student, it’s helpful to first make sure that everyone involved is calm and ready to listen to each other.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    12 Ways to Avoid Student Humiliation

    Embarrassing or belittling students may interfere with learning and lead to long-term resentment. Teachers should treat students respectfully and be mindful of their feelings.
  • Classroom Management

    Sometimes Misbehavior Is Not What It Seems

    Sometimes the reason for misbehavior is not obvious—it’s not always easy to determine why children do the things they do.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Fair Isn’t Equal: Seven Classroom Tips

    Edutopia blogger Richard Curwin explains the subtle yet important differences between treating students equally and treating them fairly.
  • Student Engagement

    Questions Before Answers: What Drives a Great Lesson?

    Students engage more passionately when trying to answer a question that interests them. Here are ten opening questions that have inspired this kind of learning.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Teachers Need to Follow Their Own Rules

    Edutopia blogger Rick Curwin explains how behavior follows values, asks how children can be expected to follow rules that their teachers fail to model consistently and meaningfully, and proposes two simple but profound behavior changes.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    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.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Controlling the Power of Words: Teaching Students How to Confront Insults

    Instead of surrendering their power to the person who insults them, students should learn why some words are triggers and how to master their own reactions.
  • Student Engagement

    Your Lesson's First Five Minutes: Make Them Grand

    Educator, author and blogger Rick Curwin explains why and how to grab your students' attention for the first five minutes of each lesson.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    The 5 Critical Categories of Rules

    Edutopia blogger Rick Curwin believes that rules and limits, while necessary in a classroom, are subtly shaded in meaning and use. He defines five critical categories of rules: academic, social, procedural, cultural and personal.

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George Lucas Educational Foundation