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Aug 11, 2010

"You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it." --Albert Einstein

Can You Teach Emotional Intelligence?

"Our kids need a peaceful place," says elementary school Principal Eileen Reiter who works in Harlem, New York. "It has to be a place where kids can come and feel relaxed and feel safe and get a lot of support." Support, in this case, means more than just academic training and a hot lunch. Reiter has embraced a philosophy known as Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), which teaches students ways to moderate their own emotions and manage conflicts with others. Through activities like guided meditations, conflict resolution workshops, and reflective writing exercises, SEL offers children the space to calm themselves, observe the world, and reduce emotional distractions so that they are free to concentrate more effectively on what they are learning. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan agrees with SEL's revolutionary potential. "These are learned skills," he says. "Children can have huge challenges, but when you help them learn how to handle them, you have a chance."


The next time you feel overwhelmed by stress or emotions, take a moment to step back, observe, and reflect before you act. To learn more about SEL, see: More ...