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Keynote Presentations
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1. Building Emotional Intelligence

2. Restoring Our Spirits

3. Schools with Spirit

4. Educating the Heart

5. Social and Emotional
Learning in Schools

6. What Shall We Say
To Our Children?

7. Waging Peace in Our Schools

8. Creating Ridicule-Free
Learning Communities

1. Building Emotional Intelligence:
Techniques to Cultivate Inner Strength in Children

Using principles derived from modern brain research, teachers, parents and children are exposed to calming and focusing techniques from Linda’s newly published book Building Emotional Intelligence: Techniques to Cultivate Inner Strength in Children (Sounds True, 2008). Renowned psychologist Daniel Goleman wrote the Introduction and is the voice on a CD of developmentally appropriate guided practices for children ages five-twelve years old and over.

This presentation explores how the adults in children’s lives can cultivate the habits of mind, body, and heart it will take to continually relieve the pressure that modern children face. It focuses on strengthening social and emotional capacities by equipping both adults and young people with some form of regular contemplative practice that can help them manage disturbing emotions, increase compassion, and instill stillness. The presentation:

• Explores how stress impacts our lives and work.

• Identifies self-care tools and reflective approaches for caring for ourselves and our children.

• Reviews the underlying concepts in the field of social and emotional learning and its impact on positive youth development.

• Identifies the five basic competencies that make up emotional intelligence.


2. Restoring Our Spirits:
Nurturing Our Inner Lives

Many of us feel the intense pressure of living and working in uncertain times. Adults and young people alike are in need of a deeper sense of community and more opportunities to develop a capacity for meaning and purpose in our lives. We yearn for safe places and experiences that challenge us to, in Parker Palmer’s words, “live on the outside, the truth we know on the inside.” This presentation discusses how we can nurture our own sense of purpose and vision and create opportunities for reflection and personal renewal. The presentation:

• Explores how stress impacts our lives and work.

• Identifies self-care tools and reflective approaches to taking care of ourselves.

• Reconnects us with our own sense of deeper meaning and purpose that led us into our work in the first place.


3. Schools with Spirit:
Nurturing the Inner Lives of Children and Teachers

Is it possible for schools to nurture the hearts and spirits of students without violating the beliefs of families or the separation of church and state? Many courageous educators are beginning to acknowledge that nurturing the inner lives of children can become an integral part of a child’s regular school experience. This presentation explores how to reclaim our schools as soulful places of learning where the inner lives of children are welcomed. The presentation:

• Identifies the possibilities and practicalities of building a bridge between the inner life of mind and spirit and the outer life of secular education.

• Discusses the many pathways that support the creation of “Schools with Spirit.”

4. Educating the Heart:
The Concepts and Skills of Emotional Intelligence

Social and emotional competence shapes how children and adults interact with the world around them. This presentation explores the brain and behavioral research that illustrates a different way of being smart - a way Daniel Goleman terms “emotional intelligence.” A growing number of educators and concerned citizens are committed to creating a bold new educational vision: schools that educate the heart along with the mind. This presentation:

• Explores the recent research in the fields of education, psychology and neuroscience that support the concept of emotional intelligence.

• Identifies the key principles and skills of emotional intelligence.

• Practices skills in emotional intelligence that are useful in our personal and professional lives.

• Clarifies the role each of us can play in helping schools optimize academic performance by attending to the social, emotional and ethical development of children in more intentional and systematic ways.

5. Social and Emotional Learning in Schools:
What It Is, Why We Need It, and How We Can Promote It

There is a growing national movement to redefine the basics of a good education. Its message is straightforward—we need to educate the heart as well as the mind. In his groundbreaking book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman writes about the emerging field of “social and emotional learning” (SEL). By making social and emotional learning (SEL) an integral part of the curriculum, many schools have found a comprehensive and coordinated way to address the deeply intertwined academic, social, and emotional needs of students, as well as the near-overwhelming demands on teachers’ time and talents. The concepts and competencies addressed in social and emotional learning are those that young people need for success in school and in life. This presentation explores:

• Underlying concepts in the field of social and emotional learning and explores their impacts on youth development, violence prevention, and fostering a civil society.

• Opportunities for schools and other educational settings to nurture young people’s social, emotional, and ethical development.

• Components of comprehensive SEL programming.

6. What Shall We Say To Our Children?
Nurturing Empathy in a Post 9-11 Climate of Uncertainty

Throughout the past several years, so many of us have had to live with a range of disturbing feelings and haunting images as we integrate the events of September 11, 2001 into our minds, hearts, and spirits. Even as we struggle to regain our own sense of optimism about the future, our children are counting on us to help them in their struggle. As more time passes, we move from helping our children cope with the fear and uncertainty, to teaching them about empathy and compassion. How can we continue to nurture the social, emotional, and ethical development of our children and help them realize that it is still “possible to live in peace,” as Gandhi put it? This presentation addresses how in the face of fears and uncertainty we can make our classrooms and homes fertile ground for contributing to a life-affirming future, and how we can reclaim our schools as places that not only attend to children’s intellectual capacity and test scores but also prepare them for the tests of life. It provides concrete examples of what schools can continue to do to:

• Help children develop skills for expressing and managing their feelings around difficult and sensitive topics.

• Encourage thoughtful dialogue about the issues that are still raised by the 9-11 tragedy, especially as it relates to teaching about prejudice and discrimination.


7. Waging Peace in Our Schools

A growing number of educators are committed to a bold new educational vision: schools that educate the heart along with the mind. This presentation provides participants from K–12 settings with an introduction to the tools and strategies needed to implement safe, caring, respectful and productive learning communities, which promote the social and emotional development of young people along with their academic development. Drawing on over twenty years of work with the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program (RCCP), this presentation:

• Identifies the core elements of effective implementation including strategic planning and needs assessment.

• Examines the successful ingredients of a comprehensive school-wide prevention program.

• Reviews the components and evaluation results of the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program.

8. Creating Ridicule-Free Learning Communities

Paying attention to the social, emotional and ethical development of ourselves and our students can provide the framework for not only increasing academic competency but also helping young people tackle the deeper societal issues around prejudice, equity and justice, ridicule and bullying. This presentation explores:

• How to nurture a vision of schools that are caring learning communities, which foster a respectful and compassionate environment for students, teachers and administrators.

• How to sensitize students to the painful effects of bullying, ridicule, and other forms of disrespect.

• How we can inspire children to take responsibility for making their classrooms and schools “Ridicule Free Zones,” by giving them the tools and techniques for preserving it.