In The News

Let’s talk: The art of understanding and repairing our differences

Posted on Jan 19, 2017

BY ROBIN STERN AND DIANA DIVECHA In the wake of the presidential election, feelings are running high in America, with half of the electorate rejoicing and the other half panicking. The divide we felt in the nation in the run-up to the election now seems more intense than ever. How can we understand our differences? How can we begin to repair them? In the world of emotional intelligence, we close the gaps in our understanding of people “on the other side” by first being aware of our own feelings and stories, and then getting curious about the feelings and stories on the other side of the conversation. This is not easy. A conversation that includes opposing viewpoints can feel like looking at the classic vase-or-face picture. We alternate between seeing one or the other. But to see the entire picture — or hold an integrated conversation — requires that all parts be viewed simultaneously. This can be hard. When we teach emotional intelligence, we first teach people how to recognize and regulate their own feelings. Sometimes that involves taking a pause between feeling triggered and responding. In the book Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, Berkeley sociologist Arlie Hochschild describes how she “turned off her own alarm system” in order to listen for a deep understanding of what her subjects — Tea Party members in the deep South “on the other side of the empathy wall” — were telling her. If we don’t temporarily check our feelings, they leak out and color our ability to see the other person’s picture. And since feelings travel faster in the brain than thoughts, taking that “meta-moment” allows the thinking and reasoning part of our brain, the frontal cortex, to weigh in. When we are unable to step into another’s frame and instead shelter among like-minded company, our views become more polarized and it becomes easy to … read more

Dena Simmons of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence Presents TED Talk on Broadway

Dena Simmons of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence Presents TED Talk on Broadway

Posted on Dec 22, 2016

Last November, our Director of Education, Dena Simmons, gave a TED talk on Broadway, and we are happy to report that her talk, How students of color confront impostor syndrome, is now live. In her talk, Dena shares her journey to where she is now and illustrates the emotional damage done when young people can’t be themselves, when they are forced to erase themselves in order to be acceptable. She urges all of us to create educational experiences that allow all students to learn in the comfort of their own skin. To see Dena’s talk, please … read more

Yale School of Medicine releases report on social and emotional learning in Bridgeport Public Schools

Posted on Nov 8, 2016

Michael Strambler, PhD, and Joanna Meyer, MAT, from Yale School of Medicine at The Consultation Center on November 2 released an initial evaluation report on the district-wide Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Initiative in Bridgeport. SEL is the process of developing personal and inter-personal knowledge and skills related to feelings, thoughts and behaviors. During the first year of classroom-level programming, Strambler and Meyer found evidence that SEL tools were becoming a regular part of classroom instruction. The team also found evidence supporting the relationship of student outcomes such as academic grades, attendance, and rates of suspensions and expulsions with student perceptions of positive school climate and their own SEL skills. Student self-assessments of behavior regulation had the strongest and most consistent association. Bridgeport’s SEL initiative began in the 2013-2014 school year, when Strambler and colleagues partnered with the Wilbur Cross School to implement the RULER Approach, a social and emotional learning program developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. The RULER Approach focuses on teaching students and adults to Recognize, Understand, Label, Express and Regulate emotions. This initiative grew to become a district-wide effort when Interim Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz joined the district in March 2014, and the Yale-BPS SEL Partnership was formed. School leaders and district administers spent the 2014-2015 school year preparing for district-wide implementation of RULER, including participating in a Leadership Development program, launching an SEL task force, forming a RULER team at each school, and participating in RULER training. Schools began to introduce students to RULER during the 2015-2016 school year, with the support of the district’s SEL facilitators. Bridgeport’s SEL initiative was featured in an independent report on SEL efforts in three U.S. school districts. The Consultation Center’s evaluation of RULER draws on data from the district’s annual School Climate Survey for students, RULER Implementation Surveys and Logs completed by school personnel, and de-identified student data from district records. Data from the 2015-2016 school … read more

Today’s Students May Be Emotionally Unprepared

Today’s Students May Be Emotionally Unprepared

Posted on Jun 23, 2016

New York Times ~ June 23, 2016 | Regardless of all the honors classes and A.P. courses they took in high school, or the science, technology and engineering classes they cram into their college curriculum, students today will not be fully prepared to compete in an increasingly global business environment. The problem — and the solution — is not intellectual. It’s emotional. Read Full … read more

Emotions Expert From Yale Imparts Wise Insights In Trumbull Talk

Emotions Expert From Yale Imparts Wise Insights In Trumbull Talk

Posted on Apr 25, 2016

Trumbull Daily Voice ~ April 25th, 2016 | FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Hundreds of parents and students packed the Trumbull High School auditorium for a lively session on emotional intelligence and how knowing how to recognize and regulate feelings can affect performance in school, work and life. “Emotion management is tough, isn’t it?” lecturer Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, asked the audience last week. “We’d all be a little healthier and happier if we were more skilled at regulating feelings.” Full Article … read more

WebMD Special Report: Teens and Stress

WebMD Special Report: Teens and Stress

Posted on Apr 18, 2016

Homework, friends, and the future are stressing teens. WebMD and Soledad O’Brien investigate what’s being done to help. Click for … read more

Social Learning: Dr. Marc Brackett Returns to Trumbull High

Posted on Apr 15, 2016

The Trumbull Times ~ April 15th, 2016 | Academic advancement can’t be achieved without prioritizing and teaching the importance of mental health. That’s the lesson Trumbull Superintendent Dr. Gary Cialfi and crisis intervention specialist Bill Mecca have learned throughout their careers as educators — one that was reinforced to them in August, when keynote speaker Dr. Marc Brackett delivered a convocation address to Trumbull faculty and administrators before kicking off the 2015-16 school year. Brackett, the director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, left such a strong impression that morning that the schools knew they had to have him return to speak with students and parents about social-emotional learning. “I’ve never had a keynote speaker resonate like him,” Cialfi recalled. “The convocation usually ends with teachers jumping out of their seats to get into their classrooms, but they stayed and talked with Dr. Bracket. Full Article Here … read more

Giving Elementary Students the Tools to Handle Social-Emotional Learning

Posted on Apr 12, 2016

ntschools.org ~ April 11th, 2016 | Thanks to being awarded a nearly $1.2 million dollar elementary and secondary school counseling grant, the North Tonawanda City School District has rolled out a social-emotional learning program known as RULER… With the grant funds, the district has been able to hire four school counselors, purchase them iPads for presentations with district smartboards, RULER apps, and other supporting material to roll the program out in elementary schools this December. Full Article … read more

Emotions Matter: Emotional Intelligence is Key to Better Health, Learning and Relationships

Emotions Matter: Emotional Intelligence is Key to Better Health, Learning and Relationships

Posted on Mar 29, 2016

The Spokesman Review~ March 27th, 2016 | It’s not always easy for adults to remember exactly what high school was like. Time tends to soften the harsher side of history, leaving our memories colored by what we want to remember rather than what we actually experienced. But just talk to some of today’s teenagers and you’re likely to get a quick reminder of just how hard those school years sometimes were. Listen, for example, to Spokane high school senior Larissa Caldeira. In the fall, the 18-year-old Rogers High School student will enter Gonzaga University on a full scholarship. That kind of achievement should please anyone, and it certainly pleases Caldeira. Yet when asked to list the top emotions she experiences now on a daily basis as a high school student, she rattles them off: stress, anxiety, fatigue and nervousness. Full Article … read more

Emotional Intelligence Explained in Bridgeport

Emotional Intelligence Explained in Bridgeport

Posted on Mar 21, 2016

CT Post ~ March 18th, 2016 | BRIDGEPORT — Feelings matter. So much so that they impact learning, decisions and behavior. That was the message Marc Brackett, director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, brought to a room of more than 200 Bridgeport Public Education Fund supporters on Friday. For two years, $350,000 in grants from the Tauck Family Foundation have helped support a program in the city school district called RULER, short for Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing and Regulating emotions. First principals and teachers were trained, and this school year students started learning the basics of not only identifying feelings, but controlling them as well. Full Article … read more