Building Emotionally Intelligent Schools: From Preschool to High School and Beyond

  • Jessica D. HoffmannEmail author
  • Zorana Ivcevic
  • Marc A. Brackett
Part of the The Springer Series on Human Exceptionality book series (SSHE)


Despite best attempts, the idea of “leaving your emotions at the door” denies decades of research on the function of emotions. When schools embrace and support the emotions of their students and educators, they create a climate where people feel secure, appreciated, and inspired.

The ability-based theory of emotional intelligence maintains that the skills of perceiving, using, understanding, and regulating emotions can be improved through instruction and practice. As consensus builds that we must teach “the whole child,” social and emotional learning (SEL) becomes more integrated into our schools, and emotionally intelligent teaching practices become the norm. In this chapter, we briefly outline the need for SEL in schools, then share implementation strategies and current research on one evidence-based approach to SEL, RULER, developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. RULER is a setting-level SEL program, which posits that by changing the climate of the classroom, youth outcomes will also improve, including academic engagement and achievement, as well as relationships among students and adults. We then describe adaptations of RULER for high school, preschool, and families. Example activities and lesson ideas for integrating SEL into all aspects of school life are provided throughout.


Emotional intelligence Ability model Social and emotional learning SEL RULER School programs 



The authors express their appreciation for the contributions of all members of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica D. Hoffmann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zorana Ivcevic
    • 1
  • Marc A. Brackett
    • 1
  1. 1.Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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