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

SEL: Going Full Circle

Last comment 1 day 41 min ago
5 5

Oracy in the Classroom: Strategies for Effective Talk

Last comment 1 week 4 days ago
37 1,400 62,538 views

Using Dialogue Circles to Support Classroom Management

Last comment 1 week 2 days ago
9 3,251 66,274 views

SEL: Going Full Circle

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 11:01
5 5

What to Do When Students Lie

Thu, 02/07/2013 - 06:58
2 191 27,158 views

Entering the Quiet Zone

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 10:00
4 507 1,738 views

Browse

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 8,471 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.

1 505 15,448 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 2,666 93,930 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 11,461 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 3,655 921,828 views
photo of two students smiling at each other in a classroom
Article

Why Teaching Kindness in Schools Is Essential to Reduce Bullying

Practicing kindness has proven health and psychological benefits, and teaching kindness contributes to behavior patterns that counteract the impulse toward bullying.

73 20,104 159,955 views
Article

Creating a Welcoming and Intellectually Challenging Classroom

Check out these important strategies for creating an inclusive learning space that also challenges students with rigorous thinking and projects.

9 1,018 36,127 views

Pages

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.

12 287 24,168 views
A closeup of a young girl, from the chest up, sitting in a striped white, green, and blue beach chair. She has long, brown hair, braces, and is wearing a blue polo shirt. She's smiling and looking directly at the camera.
Article

Contagious Emotions and Responding to Stress

In her fourth post about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels helps us diffuse students' stressful emotions through distancing, validating feelings, and choosing appropriate consequences.

6 260 23,919 views
group photo of teenagers
Article

Implementing a Schoolwide Mindfulness Program

A school-wide mindfulness program starts with reaching out to faculty members who can help or hinder, and then addressing parent questions and concerns before beginning.

11 489 23,919 views
article

Emotional Intelligence Is the Missing Piece

Social and emotional learning can help students successfully resolve conflict, communicate clearly, solve problems, and much more.

81 557 23,421 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.

26 152 23,171 views
Three boys sitting together at a table in class smiling at the camera
article

Resources and Downloads for SEL Classroom Management

Educators from Mount Desert Elementary School in Northeast Harbor, Maine, have shared a some social and emotional learning tools, and we've gathered some of our favorite resources as well.

12 23,171 views
Article

Unspeakable Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School

Edutopia has gathered resources that may help you and your children in respond to the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

8 320 22,673 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