Building Learning Communities with Character: How to Integrate Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning - ASCD
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Building Learning Communities with Character: How to Integrate Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning


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Today’s students need to learn more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic. They need to learn life skills to successfully manage tasks, form relationships, solve everyday problems, and adapt to the demands of simply growing up. To satisfy those needs, many educators seek effective and lasting programs for their students’ academic, emotional, and social growth.

Table of contents


An Overview of Themes in Social-Emotional Learning and Character Education

Recognize Feelings: Know When to Start Problem Solving

Identify Problems: Look at the Current Situation

About the authors

Jeffrey S. Kress is a Senior Research Assistant at the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York City, where he is also Assistant Professor of Jewish Education. Kress coordinates the Davidson School's Informal/Communal Education concentration. He received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University and completed an internship in Clinical/Community Psychology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He has worked as a Program Development Specialist at the Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving Program at University Behavioral HealthCare and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where he conducted teacher training and consultation for a research-validated social-emotional learning curriculum. Currently, his work focuses on bringing theoretical and methodological innovations from the fields of community, clinical, and developmental psychology into the discussion of Jewish identity and Jewish educational program planning. In particular, he is interested in applying principles of social-emotional learning to Jewish education. Kress has co-authored articles and chapters on the topics of social-emotional learning, program development, and Jewish identity that have been published in a variety of journals and books, and has presented his work at a number of conferences. Kress hosts a Listserv discussion group on the topic of community psychology and spirituality and religion. He can be contacted at the William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education at Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway, New York, NY 10027; by telephone at (212) 678-8920; fax (212) 749-9085; or e-mail

Maurice J. Elias is Professor in the Department of Psychology at Rutgers University and Co-Developer of the Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving Project. This project received the 1988 Lela Rowland Prevention Award from the National Mental Health Association, and was recently named a Model Program by the National Educational Goals Panel as well as a Promising Program by the U.S. Department of Education Expert Panel on Safe, Disciplined, and Drug-Free Schools. Dr. Elias is also Vice-Chair of the Leadership Team of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), Chair-person of the Program Committee for the Board of Trustees of the Association for Children of New Jersey, and a Trustee of the Hope Foundation. He is a member of the expert panel that advised the development of the NASP/CECP Early Warning Signs, Timely Response book on violence prevention and subsequent materials, and is the author of numerous books and articles on prevention. He is also a regular contributor to Education Week and to the annual journal of the NJASCD. Dr. Elias is an approved trainer for the N.J. Department of Education, and has authored a weekly column, “FamilyAccents,” in the Sunday Newark Star-Ledger. With colleagues at CASEL, Dr. Elias was senior author of Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators, published by ASCD. His other books include Emotionally Intelligent Parenting: How to Raise a Self-Disciplined, Responsible, and Socially Skilled Child(in its third printing from Harmony/Random House), Engaging the Resistant Child Through Computers: A Manual for Social and Emotional Learning (National Professional Resources), and Raising Emotionally Intelligent Teenagers: Raising Children to be Compassionate, Committed, and Courageous Adults (Three Rivers Press/Random House).He and the authors maintain a Web site devoted to parenting Dr. Elias is married and the father of two children. He can be contacted at Rutgers University, Department of Psychology, 53 Avenue E, Livingston Campus, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8040; by telephone at (732) 445-2444; fax (732) 445-0036; or on the Web at

Book details

Product No.
Release Date
August 2002
Page Count
Member Book

Topics in this book

School Culture