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 […]

“Restless, unfocused and unmotivated” are the words Tiffany Abrams, a Special Education teacher at Pine River-Backus Schools used to describe her 7th-grade class at the beginning of the 2016 school year. According to Abrams, they had a difficult time being independent learners. Pine River is a town in northern Minnesota with a small population–only 944–but […]

  We know, from years of research, that gaining insight into middle and high school students’ social-emotional skills is essential for motivating them to become self-propelled young adults. So we have broken these social-emotional skills into five simple areas: 1. Relationships: The single most powerful thing that educators can do to increase motivation is to build close connections […]

  Student motivation is a huge challenge. We know from our research that 69% of teachers say that student motivation is an issue in their classroom. We also know that intrinsic motivation declines continuously from kindergarten through high school. Motivation decreases in the jump from elementary to middle school and from middle to high school. […]

At Search Institute, we are working with educators, parents, and other caring adults around the country to help young people REACH to become all that they can be in school and in other areas of their lives. We are doing this by equipping adults with practical ways to address five factors that studies have shown […]