EDPS 532: Social & Emotional Learning: Creating Class Culture to Promote Learning

September 30, 2024 - December 8, 2024

Instructor: Jenna Goldstein-Walsh

Course Description:

Students thrive in a class culture that is joyful, peaceful, and meaningful. This course examines the nature of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and research-based best practices for implementation of SEL in schools and classrooms. It also provides strategies to create and maintain a student-centered learning environment that promotes social, emotional, and academic growth.

Educators acknowledge the increasing number of students facing adverse childhood experiences and their need for strong relationships and caring, safe environments to help them achieve. In this course, educators will learn to help their students develop the skills, habits and mindsets they need to engage in our diverse and changing world. Understanding students’ social and emotional needs and providing a class culture that engages and inspires students are at the heart of this course.

Course Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, educators will demonstrate an understanding of theory and best practices for teaching social and emotional learning to PreK-12 students and creating a class culture to promote learning. Educators will:

  • Understand the powerful role social and emotional education can play in schools
  • Reflect on their current practices     
  • Utilize best practices in supporting students’ social and emotional learning at school and in the world
  • Build a class culture designed to promote student learning    
  • Use strategies to promote autonomy and teach independence
  • Develop a toolkit of highly-engaging, student-centered structures and activities that improve teaching and learning
  • Evaluate social emotional learning and class culture regularly through student surveys and observational feedback


Materials Required:

Choose one of the following depending on your level of teaching:

2nd Required Book:

Teach Like Finland: 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms. by Timothy Walker,  New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2017.

Additional readings and media will be posted in the Google Classroom.


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