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

SMART Goal Setting With Your Students

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Back to School: Goal Setting With Your Students

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Serving Gifted Students in General Ed Classrooms

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Kindness: A Lesson Plan

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Back to School: Goal Setting With Your Students

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SMART Goal Setting With Your Students

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Browse

article

Classroom Management: Resource Roundup

Looking for information on guiding classroom communities, minimizing disruptions, and developing class routines to help students stay engaged and focused on learning? This resource collection is packed with useful tips, tools, and advice.

564 58,442 views
Girl and boy sitting on floor as part of circle, smiling
Article

Creating Safe, Strength-Based Classrooms

Strengthen students' learning through trust by recognizing and honoring their social, emotional, and developmental needs with rituals, variations, and an honest, respectful approach.

1 2,705 12,076 views
Young boy speaking, almost hidden by the podium he's standing behind
Article

Calling All Students to the Front, Please

The front of the classroom is a power spot. Through empathy and recognizing student agency, you can make it a positive place for them to inhabit.

4 380 8,625 views
One girl leaning over another, both with big smiles
Article

A Lesson Plan for Helping Young Children Learn to Accept Differences

Teachers can help children learn about differences by presenting them with vignettes and then giving them tools to analyze what they have heard and seen.

1 500 14,540 views
Morning Meetings: Creating a Safe Space for Learning
Schools That Work

Morning Meetings: Creating a Safe Space for Learning

At Symonds Elementary, teachers use morning meetings to develop valuable social-emotional skills, create a culture of respect and trust, and prepare students to learn.

4 1,717 94,206 views
Boy laying on the lawn peeking out over his laptop
Article

Creating a Geek Culture in the Classroom

Teachers have to bring their own interests into the classroom, to an uber nerdy level, in order to allow students the feeling that they too can shed their masks.

5 554 11,336 views
photo of a teacher presenting to a classroom
Article

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.

75 3,616 913,124 views

Pages

Meditation Helps Lower Truancy and Suspensions
Schools That Work

How Daily Meditation Improves Behavior

With levels of violence and poverty rising around them, San Francisco middle school students find social and emotional healing -- and a new readiness to learn -- in a bold program of daily meditation.

14 1,605 28,358 views
Article

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.

27 2,662 28,111 views
Graphic of a painted heart
article

A Parent's Resource Guide to Social and Emotional Learning

Explore a curated list of blogs, articles, and videos for parents about fostering skills like kindness, empathy, gratitude, resilience, perseverance, and focus in children.

1 642 27,865 views
Article

Laughter and Learning: Humor Boosts Retention

Humor activates the brain's dopamine reward system, stimulating goal-oriented motivation and long-term memory, which means that humor can improve retention in students of all ages.

24 1,092 27,618 views
Smart Hearts: Social and Emotional Learning Overview
video

Smart Hearts: Social and Emotional Learning Overview

In school districts from New Haven to Anchorage, social and emotional skills are being taught and assessed just like skills in math and reading.

16 318 27,372 views
Article

What to Do When Students Lie

Edutopia blogger Rick Curwin looks at some of the reasons why students don't tell the truth, and suggests a few strategies for confronting the issue.

1 190 26,878 views
A closeup on a young girl's face, her mouth wide open, singing, with grass and hills in the background.
Article

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.

16 86 26,632 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 22,193 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 8,133 views