As mentioned in previous posts, my role at Search Institute gives me the chance to talk with educators from all over about how to improve social-emotional learning (SEL) in their schools. These conversations come in many shapes and depths: one-hour informational calls, Q&A sessions at conferences, full-day learning engagements with frontline and administrative staff, implementation-planning […]

A few weeks ago at this blog, I discussed what developmental psychologists are increasingly understanding about what works (and why) when it comes to social-emotional learning (SEL). Relatedly, I shared some resources for school leaders who are hoping to get more intentional about strengthening their schools’ SEL practices: CASEL’s* Guide to Schoolwide SEL and CORE […]

Through Search Institute, I’m able to talk about the science of motivation and relationships with educators from all over the country, and from all corners of the education field: teachers seeking to enhance their classroom practices, school leaders hoping to create more motivating and relationship-rich school cultures, district administrators looking for improvements with sturdy evidence […]

I’m a psychologist as well as a tennis coach, and have a new book out, Mental and Emotional Training for Tennis: Compete–Learn–Honor. It’s about teaching “mental toughness,” but by showing coaches how to build relationships with their players so players develop a deeper, more spiritual, more selfless, effective, and long-lasting mental “toughness.” Here’s how we […]

As a political junkie who works with and studies schools, I pay attention to what politicians say should be done to improve education. This year, as general election campaigns go into high gear, I hear a lot of talk about promoting school choice, increasing funding, reducing testing, reforming curriculum, emphasizing accountability, implementing teacher evaluation, promoting […]

Why are so many youth from marginalized communities still not succeeding? Policy makers, practitioners, funders and researchers from a range of organizations are asking that question. Their best efforts to adopt research-based programs, train staff, and use data to measure progress but most youth interventions have not led to improved outcomes. Something is missing. Junlei […]

How Do We Expand Possibilities for Young People? “I work with 7th-grade students and they were having, at the beginning of the school year, a lot of struggles just thinking about anything past tomorrow. I’d ask them what they wanted to do with their lives or what they saw themselves doing when they grew up… […]

sharing power

How power is shared—or is not shared—lies at the heart of every relationship.  “Sharing power” is not the same as “equal power.” It also doesn’t mean we let kids make all their own decisions. Adults should—and do— have more power than kids. Part of the role of an adult is to teach them, guide them, […]

supporting young people

We all need support in life. And supporting youth is especially important as they go through the ups and downs of growing up. Often young people turn to their parents and peers for support, but at other times they seek help from other adults in their life. So what’s the best way to support young […]

“Sometimes those who challenge you most teach us best.” Anonymous Biosphere 2 is a research experiment that recreates earth’s ecosystem, including plants and trees. Through Biosphere 2’s research, scientists found that although trees grew faster in the indoor environment than they did outdoors, they would collapse under their own weight before they’d reach maturity. This […]