Spotlight 2021

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

The reduction of social interaction, physical activity & play spurred by COVID-19 has drastically increased emotional stress in students worldwide. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) represents a wide array of skills that help children to set goals, handle impulses, manage and express emotions, and build relationships.
In Partnership with The LEGO Foundation

In today’s challenging and changing learning environments, Social and Emotional Learning must be one of the main goals of our formal education systems

During the COVID-19 pandemic, school closures have forced students to face remote learning and isolation from their normal social settings. The reduction of social interactions, physical activities, and play combined with increased emotional stress have affected students worldwide. Loneliness and depression are on the rise among all ages, but especially young people. 

Moreover, social and emotional skills are especially important today given the level of civil unrest and polarisation experienced in 2020, indicating a lack of social cohesion, perspective taking, conflict resolution, and compassion between different groups of people. There has never been a more critical time to evaluate how we can support social and emotional development among students as they continue their learning journey and become the builders of tomorrow. 


This spotlight showcases impactful & scalable educational innovations supporting the development of SEL skills.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which all people acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to manage emotions, achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible decisions. These skills and competencies develop over the course of our lives and are essential to success in school, work, home, and community. 

Effective SEL programs should ensure emotionally safe learning environments, foster caring and nurturing relationships, be responsive to learners’ needs, and integrate socio-cultural contexts. The innovations should be intentional, active, and focused on fostering specific SEL skills in children 5-12. Through this Spotlight, we aimed to identify innovations working in a variety of contexts in order to help spread their work to education systems around the world and provide quality education for all.



What happens and when?

Spotlight Launched
Submission Ends
Selections Made
Selections Announced

Spotlight: Social & Emotional Learning

The COVID-19 pandemic has renewed a global discussion of the importance of schools and teachers for supporting children social and emotional learning. Policymakers, school administrators, and teachers are working to reconceptualise approaches to teaching and learning that help students develop skills for setting goals, managing behaviour, and building relationships, within and beyond the classroom. In order for education systems to truly develop the broad set of competencies young people need to thrive socially, academically, and professionally, students need to develop a range of social and emotional skills.

Social and emotional skills help us to handle our impulses, manage and speak about emotions, and build healthy relationships. After the mass trauma caused by the pandemic, we all need these skills more than ever. But how can we increase social and emotional skills in children throughout the globe in a systematic way? HundrED and The LEGO Foundation have partnered in this Spotlight project to identify impactful and scalable solutions that help parents and educators support the development of children’s social and emotional skills. 

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Policy Report: Social & Emotional Learning

Social and emotional skills are crucial for all of us to thrive in today’s unpredictable world. Thus, social and emotional learning (SEL) has become a top priority on the agendas of education stakeholders in many countries. From an equity perspective, ensuring that every child has access to SEL requires a systemic approach and a strong commitment from those responsible for formulating educational policies. This policy report is aimed at policymakers eager to widen their understanding, address the challenges and increase the opportunities for social-emotional learning in their education system. The report is a joint effort by HundrED and the LEGO Foundation to highlight relevant research, share key challenges and showcase successful solutions implemented across the world.

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Explore education innovations recognized by HundrED as well as innovations from shared by the education community across the world.
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GiveThx is a digital program that strengthens student wellbeing and social-emotional skills through gratitude. Students and staff use digital thank you notes and research-backed lessons to nurture men
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SEL Kernels of Practice
SEL Kernels are a low-cost and flexible way to integrate SEL into the daily routines and activities of schooling. Grounded in a content analysis of 50+ evidence-based SEL programs, Kernels are an alte
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Educating for Wellbeing (EW)
In Mexico, 1 in 2 children lives in poverty and 60% are behind in school by grade six. Gaps in educational outcomes across socioeconomic status fuel cycles of inequality and violence. EW aims to break
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Colors of Kindness
Colors of Kindness is an education-in-emergencies adaptation for the Rainbow of Education. Using social and emotional learning materials delivered via podcast, this EdTech solution seeks to address th
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Navegar Seguro
Navegar Seguro is a program designed to develop SEL skills in children from kindergarten to 11th grade to help them manage the risks in their environment, build positive relationships, and develop the
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As we begin to reclaim an education of the “whole child”, we must focus on a central issue in our worldwide educational systems: how do we re-engineer our children’s education so that we create signif
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Aulas de Paz - Peace Classrooms
Aulas de Paz by Aseinc was born from the need to build a culture of peace and non-violence in vulnerable schools located in rural and urban slums. It aims to spread the initiative and actions to famil
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The Brick-by-Brick Programme
Child-led and facilitated by a trained adult The Brick-by-Brick™ programme is learning-through-play using LEGO bricks for children who need support with social development, such as in autism. In a saf
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Grassroot Soccer: SKILLZ Core
SKILLZ Core is a mixed-gender, rights-based, gender transformative intervention for very young adolescents that considers the profound changes brought about by puberty. It offers positive youth role m
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Labhya Foundation
Labhya partners with Indian state governments to co-create & ensure effective implementation of state-wide daily SEL classes integrated in the school day. We have co-created and are ensuring effective
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Nigerian Social and Emotional Learning Project
Project RAISEAware Students is borne out of the need to give our children space and support to develop socially and emotionally, by teaching them how to connect, express themselves, and build communit
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Tales Toolkit
Award winning Tales Toolkit provides interactive, child led resources for early years using symbols representing story structure. Resources give children independence to create stories around interest
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In Their Shoes. A space for Active Empathy
It is a programme of emotional literacy to improve school coexistence based on the theater of awareness method, that stages emotions and makes them visible to everybody. It aims at the entire school c
Latest articles 10.5.2022

New report calls on policymakers to put social & emotional learning in the school curricula

The LEGO Foundation and Finnish education organisation HundrED have released a new report offering policymakers 8 tips on how to incorporate social & emotional learning into the national curriculum and highlighting 13 initiatives that can help. The report release is accompanied by a free virtual event for policymakers.

About Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

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