Stories and Profiles

The RULER Approach to Social and Emotional Learning

The RULER Approach (RULER) to Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) offers evidence-based teaching strategies for promoting emotional literacy among children and the adults who educate them.

RULER uses academic instruction to foster the development of key emotion skills: recognizing emotions in one’s self and others, understanding the causes and consequences of emotions, labeling emotions using a sophisticated vocabulary, expressing emotions in socially appropriate ways, and regulating emotions effectively.

RULER Anchor Tools are core components of the approach: The Charter is a mission statement created collaboratively that focuses on optimal feelings and behaviors in the classrooms and prosocial ways for handling conflict. The Mood Meter is used to identify feelings accurately in order to build self- and social awareness and develop a sophisticated emotion vocabulary. Meta-Moments help to increase effective responses to challenging experiences. The Blueprint encourages prosocial problem solving in ways that promote empathy and reduce bullying incidents.

The RULER Feeling Words Curriculum teaches students to develop and explore a sophisticated feelings vocabulary through lessons which include performing and visual arts; analyzing connections between feeling words, academic material, and current events; discussing feeling words with family members; and writing about and discussing the myriad emotional experiences.

RULER fosters caring and engaging learning environments and enhances academic outcomes such as increased vocabulary, creative and critical thinking, reading comprehension, and writing, as well as social and emotional competence.