Speaking and Workshops

Our education team, including Education Director Vicki Zakrzewski, Ph.D., delivers talks and leads interactive workshops at public and private schools, education conferences, and other gatherings of education professionals. When possible, we work with the organizer to customize our presentations to the unique characteristics of the school or event.  To find out how to bring Greater Good Education to your school or organization, please call (510) 761-7865 or email us. Below are some of the workshops that our education team can deliver.

1. The Science of Prosocial Human Development for Education

A quantum shift in how we educate our children is taking place in schools all over the world. Academic knowledge alone is no longer sufficient in helping students to cultivate happy, productive, and meaningful lives, and to make a positive contribution to their communities and the world. Indeed, a 2014 study found that emotional health and prosocial (kind and helpful) behavior in childhood had greater long-term impact on adult well-being than academic success. In addition, the rapidly growing body of research on social-emotional learning, mindfulness, ethical development, mindsets, identity, purpose, and other non-academic topics—or what we here at the Greater Good Science Center call the “Science of Prosocial Human Development”—is deepening our understanding of the learning process and, at the same time, challenging our beliefs about what exactly we are educating for. In this workshop, participants learn how the practical application of this science can be used to help them build classrooms and schools where both the students and adults thrive and where education becomes about more than just test scores and future job skills. 

2. The Science of Social and Emotional Well-being: Why It Matters for Education

Over the last 20 years, our scientific understanding of human development has skyrocketed—and it’s creating a paradigm shift in how we educate our children. Scientists are now suggesting that cognitive development is only 50 percent of the education equation. The other half is social and emotional development. In this talk, Dr. Vicki Zakrzewski discusses the research that strongly suggests that developing students’ social and emotional intelligence improves their academic achievement and overall well-being, along with practical ways that schools are applying this research.

3. Helping Children Build Happy and Meaningful Lives

Helping children cultivate a meaningful life is one of the noblest aspects of both parenting and teaching. Not only does this contribute to a child’s well-being, but also helps to foster a more compassionate and resilient society. Drawing on cutting-edge research from psychology and neuroscience, Dr. Vicki Zakrzewski highlights the strong connections between the cultivation of a meaningful life and children’s social-emotional well-being and academic achievement. For instance, children who simply count their blessings have higher levels of optimism, increased life satisfaction, and decreased negative feelings—and they feel better about their schoolwork. Dr. Zakrzewski’s overview of this research shows how leading a meaningful life isn’t just good, but good for you and your children. Topics covered include awe, hope, mindfulness, self-compassion, and gratitude.

Past Talks and Workshops

Some of the organizations that have hosted talks and workshops by our education team include the following.

  • Global Skills and Education Forum, Dubai, UAE
  • East Asia Regional Council of Schools, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Education We Want; 8th Ed Leadership International Roundtable, Lucknow, India
  • National Association of Independent Schools, Washington, DC
  • Learning and the Brain Conference, San Francisco, CA
  • Mission Skills Assessment Annual Conference, Chicago, IL
  • Palo Alto Unified School District Social-Emotional Learning Committee, Palo Alto, CA
  • KIPP Bay Area, San Lorenzo, CA
  • The Heads Network, Orlando, FL
  • California Association of Independent Schools, Oakland, CA
  • New Teacher Center Symposium, Burlingame, CA
  • Maricopa County Human Services Head Start, Gilbert, AZ
  • California School Nurses Association, Santa Clara, CA Advance L.A., Los Angeles, CA
  • Jonah Paquette
    “As a psychologist working in a large HMO, I regularly draw from your site in my clinical work with patients, and have had countless patients express their appreciation for the GGSC as well. Thank you for all that you do!”

    Jonah Paquette, Psy.D., Kaiser Permanente

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