Teaching Social and Emotional Learning

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Oakland schools have launched programs to help students manage their emotions, establish positive relationships and resolve conflicts. One of the programs, Roots of Empathy, brings infants and their mothers into school to help students recognize emotions and experience empathy. We discuss the social and emotional learning movement, which aims to teach fundamental life skills in schools, and how it's being used in Oakland.


Tony Smith, superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District

Mary Gordon, founder and president of Roots of Empathy

Vicki Zakrzewski, education director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, which studies the psychology, sociology and neuroscience of wellbeing

Lynette Richardson, fourth grader at Glenview Elementary School in Oakland; she participated in the Roots of Empathy program in third grade for a year

Maren Jacobsen, teacher for the Roots of Empathy program at Glenview Elementary School in Oakland