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Authors

Vicki Zakrzewski

Vicki Zakrzewski

 

Vicki Zakrzewski (zahk-shef-skee), Ph.D., is the education director of the Greater Good Science Center.

In her role as education director, Vicki writes a blog that provides science-based ideas for promoting the social and emotional well-being of students, teachers, and administrators, as well as methods for creating positive school cultures. She also gives talks and workshops, and leads the GGSC’s Summer Institute for Educators—an annual multi-day event in which educators from around the world learn how the science of compassion, empathy, gratitude, awe, and other social-emotional skills can enhance their own lives and the lives of their students.

In addition to her writing and workshops, Vicki consults with organizations on how to incorporate the science of well-being into their work. Recent collaborations include those with the Mind and Life Institute (of which she is a fellow) on their Ethics and Education in Students and Teachers project and the Jim Henson Company on a new television show for preschoolers.

A former teacher and school administrator, Vicki earned her Ph.D. in Education and Positive Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. In her doctoral research, Vicki spent two months in India at a school awarded the Peace Education Prize by UNESCO and the Hope of Humanity Award by the Dalai Lama, researching their methods for developing teachers’ ability to create caring relationships with students.

 
 
  

Stories by Vicki Zakrzewski

Articles: How to Build Trust in Schools

By Vicki Zakrzewski | February 19, 2015

Education reform efforts often undermine trust in schools, but research points to another way.

 

Articles: Emotional Intelligence Needs a Moral Rudder

By Vicki Zakrzewski | January 22, 2015

Social-emotional learning programs need to be built on a moral foundation, suggests new research.

 

Articles: Social-Emotional Learning: Why Now?

By Vicki Zakrzewski | January 7, 2015

Our new and deeper understanding of human development is reshaping how we think about education.

 

Articles: Debunking the Myths about Boys and Emotions

By Vicki Zakrzewski | December 1, 2014

Research has found that boys can connect emotionally with others at a very deep level—we just have to make it safe for them to do so.

 

Articles: The Battle Between Success and Compassion

By Vicki Zakrzewski | October 17, 2014

If adults want to raise caring kids, research suggests they might need to start by examining the mixed messages they’re sending to kids.

 
Games and other playful activities were a key part of the Greater Good Science Center's Summer Institute for Educators, which develops key social-emotional learning skills.

Articles: How Social-Emotional Learning Transforms Classrooms

By Vicki Zakrzewski | September 16, 2014

SEL doesn't just change the teaching—it changes the teachers and the students. Here are their stories.

 

Slide Presentation: The Science of a Meaningful Life for Education

By Vicki Zakrzewski | August 28, 2014

Workshop for educators about how the science of a meaningful life (including awe, hope, mindfulness, empathy, compassion, self-­‐compassion, and gratitude) can be applied to enhance the well-being of teachers and students.

 
Chris Murchison and Monica Worline present at the 2014 GGSC SIE

Articles: Exploring the Science of Social-Emotional Learning

By Vicki Zakrzewski | August 18, 2014

Our Summer Institute for Educators brought together almost 100 people from all over the world—to study, play, and connect with others who are striving to make a difference in students’ lives.

 
A presentation by GGSC Education Director Vicki Zakrzewski on awe and its applications in the classroom, given July 1, 2014, at the Greater Good Science Center Summer Institute for Educators.

Videos and Podcasts: Vicki Zakrzewski on Awe (SIE14)

By Vicki Zakrzewski | July 1, 2014

A presentation by GGSC Education Director Vicki Zakrzewski on awe and its applications in the classroom, given July 1, 2014, at the Greater Good Science Center Summer Institute for Educators.

 

Articles: Three Ways for Schools to Help Kids Cultivate Kindness

By Vicki Zakrzewski | July 1, 2014

Research shows that the spark of kindness resides in everyone, and even small school actions can fan that spark into a flame.

 
In this introductory presentation given June 28, 2104, at the Greater Good Science Center Summer Institute for Educators, Vicki Zakrzewski provides an overview of the landscape of social-emotional learning and contemplative practice in education.

Videos and Podcasts: Vicki Zakrzewski on Social-Emotional Learning and Contemplative Practice in Education (SIE14)

By Vicki Zakrzewski | June 28, 2014

In this introductory presentation given June 28, 2104, at the Greater Good Science Center Summer Institute for Educators, Vicki Zakrzewski provides an overview of the landscape of social-emotional learning and contemplative practice in education.

 
Former Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Tony Smith with student

Articles: A New Model of School Reform

By Vicki Zakrzewski | May 21, 2014

Oakland Unified is transforming its schools by embedding social-emotional learning into the district culture—one adult at a time.

 

Articles: Two Ways to Foster Grit

By Vicki Zakrzewski | May 5, 2014

To help students learn to overcome obstacles in pursuit of long-term goals, educators should focus on developing cognitive and emotional skills.

 

Articles: What’s Wrong with Grit?

By Vicki Zakrzewski | March 20, 2014

Schools are exploring how to foster—and even grade—perseverance and passion. But before we take grit too far, we need to remember how little we know about it.

 

Articles: Three Ways to Foster a Forgiving School

By Vicki Zakrzewski | February 5, 2014

Research suggests that forgiveness might be an unexpected but powerful way to enhance school culture

 

Articles: What Makes a Teacher Lose It?

By Vicki Zakrzewski | January 30, 2014

Recent research suggests that teachers' attachment styles—how their childhoods shape adult relationships—may influence their work in the classroom.

 

Articles: How to Integrate Social-Emotional Learning into Common Core

By Vicki Zakrzewski | January 22, 2014

Implementing the Common Core doesn’t mean educators have to abandon SEL—in fact, just the opposite might be true.

 

Articles: How to Close the Social-Emotional Gap in Teacher Training

By Kim Schonert-Reichl, Vicki Zakrzewski | January 8, 2014

A new scan of teacher education programs reveals that very few teachers receive training in social-emotional learning.

 

Articles: How to Foster Generosity in Students

By Vicki Zakrzewski | December 18, 2013

Science-based suggestions for keeping your students’ holiday spirit going throughout the year.

 

Articles: How to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Failure

By Vicki Zakrzewski | December 5, 2013

According to the research on failure, students may need more than just grit to succeed.

 

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Most...

  
  • How SEL and Mindfulness Can Work Together

    April 7, 2015

    When taught together, social-emotional learning and mindfulness can have even greater impact on both individuals and the world around us.

  • Why You Should Love Thy Coworker

    April 6, 2015

    A new study suggests that fostering compassion among health care workers might improve the quality of patient care.

  • How to Help Teens Find Purpose

    April 16, 2015

    Teens are naturally driven to seek new experiences—and that may be the key to helping them develop a sense of purpose in life.

  

Greater Good Events

How Compassion Creates Resilience, with Kelly McGonigal
International House, UC Berkeley campus
May 20, 2015


How Compassion Creates Resilience, with Kelly McGonigal

A book event for The Upside of Stress


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Take a Greater Good Quiz!

How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!

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Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.

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Greater Good Resources

 
 
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Book of the Week

The Path to Purpose By William Damon Looks at how children are hampered in their search for meaning, and how concerned adults can help them find it.

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"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

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