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 Tips for Better Classroom Management

Last comment 1 day 10 hours ago
72 8,741 340,188 views

Oracy in the Classroom: Strategies for Effective Talk

Last comment 4 weeks 22 hours ago
39 1,400 62,538 views

Teaching Your Students How to Have a Conversation

Last comment 1 week 10 hours ago
22 8,278 212,276 views

7 Things Parents and Teachers Should Know About Teens

Mon, 06/08/2015 - 10:00
13 1,491 91,189 views

7 Tips for Better Classroom Management

Wed, 09/11/2013 - 10:07
72 8,741 340,188 views

Teachers: Summer Reading to Cultivate Your Emotional Resilience

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 06:00
1 169 2,732 views

Browse

Two young kids are walking away from the camera along a gravel path with tall grass and trees on both sides. They're both wearing jeans and sweatshirts and one of them is wearing a beanie.
Article

How Do We Measure Social and Emotional Learning?

Those concise assessments about social-emotional skills and character on the back of a report card can become valuable talking points between schools, parents, and students.  

6 1,069 37,622 views
Four female students are standing in a hallway beside their lockers, talking to each other in pairs.
Article

OMG, I Can't Even: Drama, Social Skills, and the Teenage Brain

Teen drama is the natural disconnect in socially and emotionally developing brains. Help them by honoring (not judging) their experience, teaching social skills, and encouraging reflection.

5 645 31,144 views
A young teenage boy in a teal t-shirt and brown pants is in the air on a skateboard. Both of his arms are extended out to his sides and his knees are up to his chest. He's hovering over a yellow beam against an off-white brick wall.
Article

The Teenage Brain: Stress, Coping, and Natural Highs

To help young people cope with stress and a rapidly developing brain, educate them about the "natural highs" of beneficial brain chemistry triggered by exercise and passion.

12 289 24,168 views
Two young, smiling boys standing in a school hallway wearing white polo shirts have an arm around each other's shoulder and are making the peace sign with their other hand.
Article

Motivating Successful Teamwork With Games

Launch your next student project with laughter through physical, team-building challenges like escaping the room without touching the lava field or cooperating in blindfolded dodgeball.

12 62 7,475 views
A closeup of a teenage girl sitting slouched, resting her head in her cupped hands. She's looking up and to the side with tears in her eyes. She's sitting in a naturally lit room with couches, comfy chairs, coffee tables, and a small, potted tree.
Article

Helping Students Who Have Experienced Trauma

To help a student who's experienced trauma, ground yourself emotionally, determine your own role, and address that student's emotional truth from a place of informed support.

8 606 12,707 views
Four young students are sitting together at two, two-person desks put together as one table. They're near the front of the classroom near a whiteboard. The two girls are looking down, writing, and the two boys are looking up, smiling.
Article

Fostering Identity Safety in Your Classroom

Dissolve stereotype threat and increase identity safety by affirming all types of identity, modeling strategic vulnerability, inviting students into self-authorship, and creating identity safe classroom agreements.

5 569 5,980 views
A closeup, side profile of a young girl with glasses standing in a classroom, reading a music sheet.
Article

Connections, Not Consequences

For individual student behavior issues, rely less on consequences and more on personal connections, scaffolding your process with dialogue, negotiation, and ultimately agreement.

26 856 23,171 views

Pages

Article

Your Face Scares Me: Understanding the Hyperrational Adolescent Brain

Edutopia blogger Todd Finley explores the power and purpose of the teenage brain, discovering surprises such as low dopamine levels, abundant of hyperrationality, and how adults can enable teen impulse by subtly redirecting it.

5 9,038 50,578 views
Teaching Grit Cultivates Resilience and Perseverance
Article

Teaching Grit: How to Help Students Overcome Inner Obstacles

In the second of her two-part series about grit, guest blogger Vicki Zakrzewski looks at how to encourage self-perception and emotional management in an academic setting, with help from Edutopia's video team.

1 145 50,329 views
Illustration of a target with arrows that have missed the mark on the ground below.
Article

5-Minute Film Festival: Freedom to Fail Forward

Knowing how to learn from failure can be a key to success. In this playlist, VideoAmy curates the best videos and resources for encouraging students to be resilient and embrace mistakes.

1 2,553 49,582 views
Article

Creating an Emotionally Healthy Classroom Environment

Making students feel safe and earning their trust are critical elements for turning your classroom into an emotionally healthy environment.

5 55 47,090 views
article

A Research-Based Approach to Arts Integration

At Bates Middle School in Annapolis, Maryland, arts integration has helped raise student achievement, in conjunction with other key best practices.

3 1,768 46,592 views
The Heart-Brain Connection: The Neuroscience of Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning
video

The Heart-Brain Connection: The Neuroscience of Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson presents his research on how social and emotional learning affects the brain.

19 1,563 45,595 views
Three elementary school children sitting together at a table in class coloring with markers
Article

Why Social and Emotional Learning Is Essential for Students

Learn more about the critical role that social and emotional learning plays in promoting student success.

4 857 44,350 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 22,175 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.

13 126 7,973 views