EL Education is a collaboration between Harvard Graduate School and Outward Bound USA

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In 1991, EL Education was developed as a collaboration between The Harvard Graduate School of Education and Outward Bound USA. This whole-school, organizational approach to social-emotional learning emphasizes character development and community involvement.  The three dimensions of achievement central to EL Education are: (1) Mastery of knowledge and skills, (2) Positive character, and (3) High quality work. EL Education offers guidelines and structures for educators to develop lessons aimed at developing “healthy habits of scholarship”, including relational characteristics such as integrity, and performance characteristics such as perseverance. A primary component of EL Education includes creating a positive school climate through regular student-teacher advisory meetings to increase student-teacher relationships and develop a positive school climate. EL Education also incorporates a service-learning model into the approach in order to encourage student engagement within the community and teach social justice.

EL Education requires substantial commitment from the school; it is a school driven approach that takes approximately 4 to 5 years to implement with the support of a coach, with an additional commitment to approximately 30-40 days of off-site training per year.

EL Education is endorsed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as “SELect program”, which indicates CASEL considers it a high-quality, well designed program, with documented positive impacts through research evaluations.