George Lucas Educational Foundation Celebrating our 25th Anniversary!

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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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.


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.


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.


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 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.


Help! Schools for a Child with Learning and Behavioral Challenges?

Last comment 2 weeks 8 hours ago
16 489 views

Oracy in the Classroom: Strategies for Effective Talk

Last comment 2 days 5 hours ago
8 1,138 20,703 views

7 Tips for Better Classroom Management

Last comment 7 hours 26 min ago
58 2,570 221,557 views

Early-Childhood Education Takes to the Outdoors

Mon, 08/03/2009 - 15:43
7 979 15,243 views

7 Tips for Better Classroom Management

Wed, 09/11/2013 - 10:07
58 2,570 221,557 views

Creating a Welcoming and Intellectually Challenging Classroom

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 12:21
8 3,902 34,353 views


A closeup, side profile of a young girl with glasses standing in a classroom, reading a music sheet.

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 5,592 22,978 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.

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 2,353 12,499 views
Three elementary school children sitting together at a table in class coloring with markers

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.

2 9,979 30,941 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.

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.

11 545 2,500 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.

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.

11 659 1,591 views

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 1,670 13,878 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 1,877 12,726 views



Building Social and Emotional Skills in Elementary Students: Empathy

In Part 7 of her elementary student SEL series, filmmaker Randy Taran offers suggestions and examples for cultivating empathy in schools.

3 1,808 55,711 views

Strengthening Executive Function Development for Students With ADD

Children with Attention Deficit Disorder can benefit from targeted mindfulness exercises to help make them aware of their reactions, decisions, emotional regulation, and self-control.

3 10,060 55,256 views
A closeup of a young boy with his head down, tears trickling down his cheeks.

Let the Child Cry: How Tears Support Social and Emotional Development

Crying is an important part of children's social-emotional development. Instead of demanding that they stop, create an emotionally safe classroom with patience, acceptance, and compassion.

8 36,415 55,256 views
Adult happily greeting a student in the hallway as students move to class

The Language of Choice and Support

For all students, especially those with mental health challenges, the language of empowerment and choice contributes significantly to an environment that helps them grow toward their goals.

14 11,813 55,029 views
An adult woman with her hair pulled back in a ponytail is wearing a cowl neck maroon and beige checkered hoodie, standing with her elbows at her sides and her hands raised, as if she's addressing an audience.

When Helping Hurts

Learning includes developing time-management skills, making choices, meeting deadlines, and coping with possible failure. This becomes harder when adults try to make students' lives too easy.

16 6,616 54,347 views
A photo of an elementary-school boy writing in his notebook.

Strategies for Getting and Keeping the Brain’s Attention

Holding students' attention is about activating the right neural network. Strategies include recognizing how focus feels, giving incentives, and adjusting the pace of your teaching.

42 6,108 54,119 views
Grit Curriculum Lesson: Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Grit Curriculum Lesson: Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Setting long-term goals is a key part of learning to be gritty. Teacher Beth Perkins helps her fifth graders evaluate their real-life goals to understand the elements that make up the best ones.

179 53,892 views


An Introduction to Social and Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning 101

Emotional intelligence must be developed in children before any other learning can effectively take place.

7 289 25,708 views
Educating Hearts: A Districtwide Initiative to Teach How to Care

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.

13 128 8,863 views