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

Oracy in the Classroom: Strategies for Effective Talk

Last comment 1 week 1 day ago
44 1,400 80,734 views

Helping Students Develop the Skills to Focus

Last comment 3 weeks 4 days ago
25 1,102 111,898 views

Wellbeing: Developing Empathy, Emotional Awareness, and Agency

Last comment 3 weeks 2 days ago
7 363 12,956 views

Back to School: Goal Setting With Your Students

Fri, 08/16/2013 - 12:00
22 748 53,817 views

Integrating Social and Emotional Competencies Into Academic Content

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 06:00
2 1,031 5,443 views

Reaching Students With Emotional Disturbances

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 06:00
2 28,089 28,366 views

Browse

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. 

5 146 19,434 views
Response to Intervention: Safe Spaces for Math and Literacy
Schools That Work

Response to Intervention: Safe Spaces for Math and Literacy

At Charles R. Drew Charter School, the Literacy Center and Math Lab provide fun, engaging, and enriching interventions to help support students most in need.

2 73 12,458 views
In the background, a lot of young students are playing outside on cement, closed in by their surrounding classrooms. At the forefront, five students are sitting around a small rectangular table with their elbows on the table and their hands raised, smilin
Article

History, Empathy, Systems Thinking, and Gaming

One teacher used a unique social deduction game to build a unit on the Salem Witch Trials that also taught students empathy and systems thinking.  

2 62 11,461 views
A young man is sitting against a tree with his head buried in his hands.
Article

Our Students' Reality: We Can't Ignore It

By making classrooms places where real-world work and thinking happen, we encourage inquiry, conversation, and conflict in hopes of creating something better for our students.

161 5,481 views
Six high school students, all in green shirts, are sitting in a row at individual desks looking towards the front of the class. One of them has their hand raised.
Article

How and Why Intrinsic Motivation Works

Discover approaches for helping students feel personal autonomy, choice, and self-determination.

31 1,024 26,660 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 1,881 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 1,777 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 10,577 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 7,024 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