George Lucas Educational Foundation

Maurice J. Elias

Prof. of Psychology; Director, Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab; Co-Director, Rutgers Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Service

Maurice J. Elias is a professor in the Psychology Department at Rutgers University, director of the Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab, and co-director of the Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools, which offers certificate programs in direct instruction and school leadership relating to SEL and character development for educators and student support professionals in school and out-of-school settings. He has received the Sanford McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education and the Joseph E. Zins Memorial Senior Scholar Award for Social-Emotional Learning from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).  Prof. Elias is on the leadership teams of SEL4US and SEL4NJ.

Prof. Elias lectures nationally and internationally to educators and parents about students’ emotional intelligence, school success, social-emotional and character development, and youth purpose. Among Prof. Elias’s numerous books are The Joys & Oys of Parenting, Nurturing Students’ Character: Everyday Teaching Activities for Social-Emotional Learning, Boost Emotional Intelligence in Students: 30 Flexible Research-Based Lessons to Build EQ Skills, ASCD’s Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators, the Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving curricula for grades K–8, the new e-book Emotionally Intelligent Parenting, and a book for young children called Talking Treasure: Stories to Help Build Emotional Intelligence and Resilience in Young Children.

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  • Back to School

    A More Engaging Back to School Night

    Intentionally fostering interactions among teachers, parents, and community partners helped one school create a more inviting event.
  • Student Wellness

    How to Boost Students’ Sense of Optimism

    Students who don’t see a bright future for themselves may have trouble getting motivated for school, but a trauma-informed approach can improve their expectations.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    A Framework for Student Goal-Setting

    When middle and high school students set short- and long-term goals, they can see a path to the success they hope for.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Important Questions to Ask Your Students

    Discovering your students’ answers to these questions can help you create positive conditions for learning.
  • Character Education

    SMART Goal Setting With Your Students

    SMART goals are specific, measurable, action-oriented, rigorous, and tracked. Help your students develop them through a series of ongoing peer interviews.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Why Restorative Practices Benefit All Students

    Punitive discipline can be harmful and unfair—restorative practices offer hopeful solutions.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    A Two-Step Process for Reducing Chronic Absenteeism

    Getting students back in the building is just step one—next comes fostering a positive school climate so that they want to stay.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Helping Students Develop Self-Regulation

    Guiding students to create an ongoing cycle of growth in self-regulation starts with having them set explicit goals for themselves.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    How to Promote Social, Emotional, and Character Development

    There’s no need for funding or special training to bring these approaches and strategies into your classroom right away.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Homework vs. No Homework Is the Wrong Question

    Does your school have a homework policy? How does your school ensure that teachers don't overload students with busy work?
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    SEL Skill Development During Recess and PE

    Focus, emotion regulation, and goal setting are social and emotional learning skills that teachers can address during recess and PE.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Engaged Teaching: "Do Now" Activities for Your Lessons

    Blogger Maurice Elias shares some simple tips for implementing SEL in elementary, middle and high school classes -- including a short quiet time at the beginning and end of the day, using transition circles, and reflective writing and discussion ideas.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Assessing Social and Emotional Learning

    A review of three types of SEL assessment, with suggestions for ways to collect and report student growth to families.
  • Teacher Leadership

    The 7 Characteristics of a Good Leader

    Blogger Maurice Elias on school leadership through the lens of social and emotional learning.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    The Importance of Asking Questions to Promote Higher-Order Competencies

    How to use open-ended, close-ended, and a double question technique to inspire deeper thinking in your students.

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George Lucas Educational Foundation