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

Back to School: Goal Setting With Your Students

Last comment 3 weeks 2 days ago
22 778 53,817 views

SEL: Going Full Circle

Last comment 1 week 5 days ago
6 5

It's Time for Social and Emotional Learning for All

Last comment 1 week 2 days ago
9 63 11,212 views

A Town Helps Transform Its School

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 10:00
1 297 2,488 views

Whole Child Development Is Undervalued

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 10:00
7 1,823 17,192 views

Browse

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.

5 572 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.

26 955 23,171 views
A closeup of a side profile of a young female student looking out a window. Her left cheek is resting against her left hand, and there's a hair tie around her wrist.
Article

Student Autonomy, Compliance, and Intrinsic Motivation

The pressures of education today seem to be tilting the balance toward order and compliance, and this can have harmful long-term consequences for both children and society.

14 118 13,704 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.

4 979 44,350 views
An illustration of a man standing, flexing his arms. His shadow is projected on a wall and is about 6 times bigger than him, looking similar to the Hulk.
Article

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.

11 529 2,492 views
A closeup of a young teenage woman's face. She's looking down and her chin is resting on her clasped hands. Her long, wavy hair is covering half of her face.
Article

Helping Your Students Cope With a Violent World

Strategies for helping children make sense of a violent world include historical perspective, risk assessment of their daily lives, writing to leaders, and reaching out to victims.

12 60 1,743 views
Article

3 Videos on the Importance of Empathy

These three videos on the importance of empathy will help inspire a conversation in the classroom and beyond. 

5 147 19,434 views

Pages

Five young girls huddled together cheek-to-cheek smiling
article

Social and Emotional Learning Research Review: Evidence-Based Programs

Choosing the best program to implement social and emotional learning in your school can be daunting. Edutopia's research analyst Vanessa Vega recommends these research-proven programs.

18 94 41,360 views
photo of a young boy sitting with eyes closed
Article

Teach Mindfulness, Invite Happiness

Teaching students mindfulness can help them counteract the negative emotions and low self-esteem associated with a culture of standardized testing.

10 1,907 41,111 views
Article

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.

10 1,783 41,111 views
Article

Teaching Kindness: More Than a Random Act

To help observe Random Acts of Kindness Week, Edutopia blogger Lisa Dabbs introduces us to the Kind Campaign and why it's so necessary for young people.

18 671 40,861 views
An illustration of a heart at a school desk, raising its hand.
Article

Teaching Empathy: Are We Teaching Content or Students?

Teaching empathy is about teaching students, not content -- how they feel about the incoming knowledge will ultimately determine how useful it is to them.

6 11,438 40,114 views
A young black girl is laying down on top of about 300 books stacked together on top of each other, looking up at the camera, smiling.
Article

Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice

Use young children's understanding of differences to teach social justice through age-appropriate literature, news stories, anti-bias lessons, familiar examples, and problem solving.

6 7,224 39,865 views
Article

Teaching Digital Citizenship in the Elementary Classroom

Teaching digital citizenship and internet safety is a lot more meaningful when students can engage in authentic online experiences.

15 476 39,865 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.

13 127 7,973 views