Summer Institute for Educators

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we have canceled the 2020 Summer Institute for Educators. Please subscribe below to the GGSC Education Newsletter for updates about the 2021 Institute. 

What Is the Greater Good Summer Institute for Educators?

Research is unequivocal: The secret to success in social-emotional learning, mindfulness, character, and other pro-social human development programs is YOU—the adult. Therefore, our five-day workshop/retreat focuses on deepening your knowledge, practice, and personal growth in these areas.

We help participants to create a safe learning environment for questioning beliefs, assumptions, values, and practices around well-being for ourselves and our students. Then we explore how to integrate this science into school DNAs (school relationships, adult self-care, school climate, academic content).

You will leave empowered with cutting-edge, science-based strategies, tools, and processes to help cultivate learning environments in which all students, faculty, and staff thrive. 

You will experience:

  • Lectures and webinars on the science of prosocial human development 
  • Deep self-reflection, thought-provoking discussions, and collaborative strategy sessions to consider how this science applies to education
  • Informal sharing with colleagues about what you are already doing to create thriving classrooms and schools
  • A strong and lasting support network—participants will be divided by job category into “families” of eight to ten who learn, explore, and play together throughout the six days. Participants will also have plenty of opportunities to connect with other educators outside their families.

Ultimately, you will leave empowered with cutting-edge, science-based strategies, tools, and processes to adapt and share with students and adults in schools.


Learning Objectives

You will:

  • Understand how the integration of social-emotional learning, mindfulness, and character education creates a comprehensive blueprint for the social, emotional, and ethical development of both adults and their students.
  • Understand and practice how to view education through the lens of prosocial human development, including social-emotional learning, mindfulness, identity, purpose, and ethical development.
  • Examine and understand how their beliefs about social, emotional, and ethical development affect their work with students and as education professionals, in general.
  • Begin to envision culturally and developmentally appropriate, research-based tools, strategies, and processes for integrating the science of prosocial human development into many areas of education, including the teacher-student relationship, student and adult well-being, school and classroom climate, content, and pedagogy.
  • Develop initial strategies for sharing this work with others back home.


Who Should Apply?

School professionals who are interested in cultivating the prosocial development and well-being of students and the adults who work with them, including:

  • Pre-K through 12 classroom teachers, paraeducators, and out-of-school-time providers
  • Pre-K-12 School mental health professionals and counselors
  • Pre-K-12 School and district-level administrators
  • Pre-K-12 Teacher and administrator educators
  • Other higher education lecturers or professors are welcome to apply, but please be aware that the Institute is geared primarily towards Pre-K-12 educators


Lead Facilitators

Vicki Zakrzewski, Ph.D., is the founding education director of the GGSC. As an international thought leader on the science of well-being in education, Vicki writes articles (Greater Good, ASCD's Educational Leadership, Edutopia, and Huffington Post), gives talks and workshops all over the world, and leads the GGSC's Summer Institute for Educators. Vicki also sits on several advisory boards and consults and collaborates with organizations on how to incorporate the science of well-being into education. Sample collaborations include the EASEL Lab and Making Caring Common within the Harvard Graduate School of Education; CASEL's California Collaborating States Initiative; the Learning and Policy Institute at Stanford University; UNESCO's Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Peace and Sustainable Development; Science for Monks and Nuns in Dharamsala, India; the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai, UAE; the Mind and Life Institute (of which she is a fellow); several social-emotional learning programs, including Second Step, MindUp, Open Circle, Facing History and Ourselves, and Inner Resilience; and Pixar/Disney on The Emotions Survival Guide—a follow-up book for children based on the movie Inside Out. Most recently, Vicki has been the creative lead for the GGSC's new online resource for educators, Greater Good in Education.

Amy L. Eva, Ph.D., is the Associate Education Director at The Greater Good Science Center. She is an educational psychologist, a former high school teacher, and a teacher educator. As a researcher, Amy has published in the areas of teacher education, metacognition, adolescent mental health, and mindfulness-based interventions with marginalized youth. She has also written numerous articles for Greater Good Magazine, as well as EdutopiaMindful, and The Huffington Post. She is also one of the key developers of the website, Greater Good in Education, which features science-based practices for creating kinder, happier schools.