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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

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.

 
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.

 

Articles: Gratitude Activities for the Classroom

By Vicki Zakrzewski | November 19, 2013

Looking for some ways to bring gratitude into the classroom this Thanksgiving season? Here are some ideas to get you started.

 

Articles: How to Support Stressed-Out Teachers

By Joyce Dorado, Vicki Zakrzewski | October 30, 2013

Teachers who work with traumatized students may suffer from chronic stress and vicarious trauma—without even realizing it. Here are some things school leaders can do to help them.

 

Articles: How to Help a Traumatized Child in the Classroom

By Joyce Dorado, Vicki Zakrzewski | October 23, 2013

Exposure to chronic trauma is having tragic effects on some of our students. How can educators help?

 
Participants at the GGSC's Summer Institute for Educators

Articles: Can Mindfulness Make Us Better Teachers?

By Vicki Zakrzewski | October 2, 2013

A new study suggests that training teachers in mindfulness not only reduces burnout but also improves their performance in the classroom.

 

Articles: How to Create a Positive School Climate

By Vicki Zakrzewski | August 21, 2013

Three practical, research-based suggestions for one of the most effective and important things school leaders can do.

 

Articles: Why Teachers Need Social-Emotional Skills

By Vicki Zakrzewski | August 13, 2013

By developing social-emotional skills, teachers can rediscover the joy of teaching.

 

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