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University of Colorado Boulder

Teacher SEL: Programs, Possibilities, and Contexts

University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera


Social and emotional learning, or SEL, student programs have flourished in schools during the last decade. Unfortunately inadequate attention has been paid to teachers’ social and emotional learning.
In this course the instructors (Randy Testa and Dan Liston) introduce and examine distinct and established teacher SEL programs, as well as some alternative possibilities.

This course is a part of the 5-course Specialization “The Teacher and Social Emotional Learning (SEL)”. Interested in earning 3 university credits from the University of Colorado-Boulder for this specialization? If so check out "How you can earn 3 university credits from the University of Colorado-Boulder for this specialization" reading in the first module of this course for additional information.

We want to note that the courses in this Specialization were designed with a three-credit university course load in mind. As a participant you may notice a bit more reading content and a little less video/lecture content. Completing and passing the SEL Specialization allows the participant to apply for 3 graduate credits toward teacher re-certification and professional enhancement. We want to ensure the quality and high standards of a University of Colorado learning experience.

Interested in earning 3 graduate credits from the University of Colorado-Boulder for The Teacher and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Specialization? Check out "How you can earn 3 university credits from the University of Colorado-Boulder for this specialization" reading in the first week of this course for more information.


  • Mindfulness in teaching
    • Since stress and anxiety accompany many teachers’ work settings and arise from a variety of sources, we look for ways to reduce that stress. Mindfulness programs provide one source of relief for work related stress and, for some, an avenue for self and other exploration. Here we describe some aspects of those programs and encourage those so inclined to seek out such experiences.
  • Center for Courage and Renewal programs for teacher and community well-being
    • The Center for Courage and Renewal’s programs for teachers encourage reflection on the social and emotional dimensions of teaching. In this module we focus on Center’s “Leading Together” program, one that encourages trust and communication within a school’s adult community.
  • The role of narrative in teachers' social and emotional learning
    • Echoing Mark Edmundson (Why Read?) and other writers on the prominent role of the humanities in a liberal arts education, we argue for and elaborate the role of narrative and the humanities in teacher education and teacher professional development. In this module we show how narrative -- film, fiction, and other similar “texts”-- can be used to explore more fully one’s humanity in teaching, offer insights into the role of teacher, and come to a richer and fuller understanding of one’s students.
  • Parents, families, and communities: Social and emotional learning in context
    • This module examines the importance of understanding that students’ rich offstage lives affect at every turn their lives within the classroom and school. A set of readings explores the “ghosts” in parents’ and teachers’ pasts and how those biographical experiences affect parent-teacher-student interactions. Another reading poignantly details the devastating impact for an immigrant child of being unknown --by both her teacher and her classmates. And a third reading delineates how a teacher’s/parent’s faith affects their understanding of public schooling and their zeal for reform.

Taught by

Dan Liston and Randy Testa


4.7 rating at Coursera based on 125 ratings

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