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Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence - RULER Promo (Short Version)


This page focuses on RULER research. For more information on RULER, please visit RULER-related studies test the empirical foundation for RULER, including testing the effects of RULER at the school, teacher, classroom, and student level across grades PreK through 12. Our RULER research focuses on two main areas: Efficacy and Innovation.

Efficacy: RULER for Early Childhood - Promoting School Readiness Through Emotional Intelligence

Funding Source: Institute of Education Sciences

Team Members: Craig Bailey, Irem Korucu, Marc Brackett, Nikki Elbertson, Andy Mashburn (Portland State University), Daphnee Nicolas, Meghan Tuttle, Tessa McNaboe, Abi Eveleigh, Gina Schnur, Lauren Costello, Colleen Cassidy, Terrance Lane, Ashlin Ondrusek, Shauna Tominey (Oregon State University)

RULER is the evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. RULER provides children in early childhood settings with opportunities to safely explore their own feelings and the feelings of others and to enhance their emotional intelligence for academic and social success.

Testing the Impact of RULER on School Readiness

In our latest multi-year study, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (#R305A180293), we will test whether RULER has an impact on:

  • children’s school readiness
  • educator skills and well-being
  • classroom climate

The project uses a multi-site cluster randomized controlled trial design with one group of schools receiving access to RULER and the other serving as a waitlisted business-as-usual control. Project staff work with 70 preschools, 300 educators, 200 classrooms, and 2,000 young children. We will also collect Kindergarten followup data.

How to Get Involved with Our Study

We are seeking participants from early childhood centers in the Denver, CO and surrounding metro areas for this project. By participating in this study, your school will receive RULER training and resources to support implementation. In addition, as a participant, you will be part of a high-quality research project focused on teachers and children’s social and emotional learning. Finally, you will receive a report on the outcome of the study within six months of completion.

To learn more about RULER, participation benefits, and time commitment, please complete a brief form and select an upcoming information session.

Get Involved

Please visit our enrollment page to learn more about getting involved in this study.


  • Cassidy, C., Bailey, C. S., Schnur, G., & Korucu, I. (2021, May). “Associations of school-level racial and ethnic homogeneity on young children’s emotional competence [Poster presentation].” Association for Psychological Science, virtual convening.
  • Costello, L., Korucu, I., & Bailey, C. S. (2021, April). “Associations of autism spectrum disorder traits on emotion recognition accuracy in early childhood [Poster presentation].” Society for Research in Child Development 2021 Biennial Meeting, virtual convening.
  • Eveleigh, A., Bailey, C. S., & Korucu, I. (2021, April). “The relationship between emotional intelligence, executive function, and children exhibiting autistic behaviours in early childhood [Poster presentation].” Society for Research in Child Development 2021 Biennial Meeting, virtual convening.
  • McNaboe, T., Korucu, I., & Bailey, C. S. (2021, April). “Investigating teachers attitudes about SEL and implementation infrastructure through an exploratory factor analysis [Poster presentation].” Society for Research in Child Development 2021 Biennial Meeting, virtual convening.
  • Schnur, G., Korucu, I., Cassidy, C., & Bailey, C. S. (2021, May). “Associations between classroom quality and school readiness in early childhood [Poster presentation].” Association for Psychological Science Virtual Convention, virtual convening.
  • Tuttle, M., Bailey, C. S., & Korucu, I. (2021, April). “Preschool teachers’ beliefs about emotion and their perceived and observed emotion socialization practices [Poster presentation].” Society for Research in Child Development 2021 Biennial Meeting, virtual convening.

Efficacy: Examining the Efficacy of RULER on School Climate, Teacher Well-being, Classroom Climate, and Student Outcomes

Funding Source: Institute of Education Sciences

Team Members: Marc Brackett, Chris Cipriano, Sara Rimm-Kaufmann (University of Virginia), Jason Downer (University of Virginia), Rebecca Rubin, Dena Simmons

The Goal 3 Efficacy Study examines the impact of RULER, a widely-used, whole-school social and emotional learning (SEL) intervention, compared to a business-as-usual counterfactual. The study examines the impact of RULER implemented in ideal conditions on school climate and teacher well-being, classroom climate, and students’ social and emotional skills and academic outcomes across students in grades 1-5. This study will result in “evidence regarding the impact of a fully developed intervention on relevant student education outcomes relative to a comparison condition using a research design that meets the Institute’s What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards.”

Innovation: SEL for All - Measuring Up RULER to Promote SEL Access and Outcomes for All Learners

Funding Source: Oak Foundation and American Educational Research Association

Team Members: Chris Cipriano, Lauren Naples, Elizabeth Kilgallon, Miranda Wood, Kaveri Sehgal, Gabbie Schlichtmann (EdTogether), Amanda Cook (EdTogether), Abigail Eveleigh

This is a collaborative initiative between the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and EdTogether to create a more equitable education system through social and emotional learning (SEL) by catalyzing and supporting sustained change toward the meaningful inclusion of all students. Our goal is to systematically identify specific malleable factors within the design and implementation of RULER that can be improved under the UDL framework, and articulate strategies to ensure equal opportunities to access, fully participate in, and benefit from RULER. Results will directly inform and impact RULER offerings, providing the foundation for an empirical investigation of the efficacy of RULER for students with learning differences.

Together with our educator and student partners, we are demonstrating how SEL can be improved by the integration of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) through:

  • A rigorous UDL analysis of the barriers to students with learning differences within RULER, as well as the outcomes for students with learning differences therein,
  • Applied illustrations of what RULER done well looks like for students with learning differences in general and special education classrooms, and
  • A systematic suite of UDL-SEL recommendations and practical implications for the field to promote the inclusion of, access for, and study of students with learning differences.

Innovation: Pilot and Refinement of RULER in Chinese Kindergartens

Funding Source: Yale China Fund for Emotional Intelligence

Team Members: Craig Bailey, Marc Brackett, Whitney Sanders, Lely Evans, Zhenlan Wang, Fuzhe Xie, Xiaosong Gai & Songliang Li (Northeast Normal University), Dan Kang (Hunan Normal University) Clarice Lee, Ruhi Khan, Nicole Park, Colleen Cassidy, Gina Schnur, Jinjia Yu, Tianxin Yang, Yile Zou, Yingjie Zhang, Jiangping Liu, Meiko Lin, Daphnee Nicolas, Sarah Kadden, Miriam Miller, Huicong Zhang

The purpose of this project is to lay the groundwork for introducing and infusing RULER into Kindergartens across China as well as studying SEL, RULER, and emotional intelligence. Beginning in 2018, project activities include:

  • Developing Chinese-based strategic partners to support RULER in local Kindergartens and to promote research
  • Translating and culturally adapting RULER's approach to school-based SEL for use in Chinese Kindergartens based on our emerging understanding of the role of emotional intelligence with Chinese children and their teachers
  • A systematic review of SEL in China
  • A meta-analysis of school-based SEL programming in China
  • An investigation of how teachers use stories for children’s SEL
  • Cultural adaptation and validation of assessments of children’s emotional intelligence

Partners for this project include the Yale Center Beijing, Yale China Association, Northeast Normal University, Fujian Preschool Education College, Hunan Normal University. More information can be found on our Open Science Framework page.


To learn more, please contact: Project Coordinator, Whitney Sanders.

Innovation: RULER for High School in Mexico

Funding Source: Instituto de Tecnologico de Monterrey

Team Members: Jessica Hoffmann, Jennifer Seibyl, Ruth Castillo Gualda (Universidad Camilo Jose Cela), James Floman, Annette Ponnock, Marc Brackett

Beginning in 2016, 37 secondary schools (“Prepas”) affiliated with the Instituto de Tecnologico de Monterrey decided to adopt RULER for High School into their communities. Research efforts to date have included annual surveys of students and staff to track emotional intelligence skills, perspectives on school climate improvements, growth mindset, academic goals, and educator burnout and engagement. RULER for High School training and curricular materials have been translated into Spanish, and we have been able to provide remote and in-person coaching opportunities. Longitudinal research of educator well-being is currently underway, as is a collaboration to provide Spanish-language RULER Institute training opportunities and curricular materials to Mexico as well as Central and South America.



  • Hills, E., & Hoffmann, J. D. (2019, August). Creativity in Emotion Regulation: A Creative Reappraisal Task for Adolescents. Poster presentation at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Hoffmann, J. D., Gualda, R. C., & Brackett, M. A. (2017, August). School Climate and Teachers’ Perceptions of Work: Emotions as Mediators. Poster presentation at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
  • Miller, R., Hoffmann, J. D., Gualda, R. C., & Brackett, M. A. (2017, August). Adolescent Emotion: A Mediator Between School Climate and Academic Mindset. Poster presentation at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

Innovation: Culturally Responsive RULER - A Learning Partnership with the Fugees Academy

Funding Source: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI)

Team Members: Chris Cipriano & Luma Mufleh (Fugees Academy)

The goals of this project are to share knowledge and expertise to (1) promote educator authenticity, retention, and emotional well-being among the Fugees Academy Faculty and Staff and (2) promote cultural responsiveness of RULER tools and educator trainings. To achieve this goal, we are immersing ourselves in each institution’s programming and philosophy, sharing knowledge and resources, and building an integrated participatory action research plan to support the implementation of culturally responsive RULER for Fugees Academy faculty and students.

Learn more at the Fugees Academy website.

Innovation: Hartford Early Childhood SEL Initiative

Funding Source: Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Team Members: Craig Bailey, Whitney Sanders, Kathryn Lee, Tony Nelson (Fathers in Education), Lovey Brown*, Vincent Hatten*, Ivoni Montes*, Carmen Morales*, Bobie Jo Parker*, Susan Sarmiento*, Maria Vasquez* (*Parent Leaders*), Nicole Park, Lauren Costello, Daphnee Nicolas, Elisa Laudati, Sarah Kadden

This three-year research-to-practice partnership (2018-2023) is tasked with ensuring coordinated, high-quality SEL programming and supports for the early childhood educators, young children, and families in and around Hartford, CT. The Initiative

  • Offers RULER access to family-based childcare providers in the Hartford region
  • Fosters a collaboration local Parent Leaders to develop brief, accessible, relevant, and culturally responsive and inclusive content to enhance family and family-childcare provider emotional intelligence
  • Leverages existing community stakeholders in finding unique ways to evaluate community impact of RULER with new and existing data.

First piloted in Norwalk, Connecticut with funding from the Grossman Family Foundation, this Initiative exists alongside the Bridgeport Early Childhood SEL Initiative across Connecticut to provide access to RULER at the community level in early childhood settings and in the home by emphasizing mutual collaboration, intentionality, and shared vision, a direct parallel to implementation within a district or within a school for systematic approaches to SEL.


To learn more, please contact: Project Coordinator, Whitney Sanders.

Innovation: Bridgeport Early Childhood SEL Initiative

Funding Source: Tauck Family Foundation

Team Members: Craig Bailey, Whitney Sanders, Fuzhe Xie, Michael Strambler & Joanna Meyer (The Consultation Center at Yale), Suzanne Clement & Christina Lye (Cooperative Educational Services), Jill Keating-Herbst (All Our Kin-Bridgeport), Daphnee Nicolas, Lauren Costello

This five-year, community-based, research-to-practice partnership (2018-2023) between Yale University and local community stakeholders is tasked with creating a community of practice by infusing SEL into the culture and infrastructure of the community and ensuring coordinated, equitable access to high-quality SEL programming and supports for early childhood educators, young children, and families of Bridgeport, CT.

Led by the Initiative’s Steering Committee, BECSELI:

  1. Provides access to RULER to all of Bridgeport’s center-based and family-based childcare providers
  2. Strengthens and coordinates SEL programming between Bridgeport’s early childhood settings and Bridgeport Public Schools
  3. Uses SEL as a catalyst to share resources by creating and facilitating a community-wide professional development network of providers and stakeholders.

Data are collected to evaluate whether BECSELI is making a difference in Bridgeport’s early care and education settings as well as in the lives of educators and leaders, including survey data collected from Bridgeport’s early childhood center- and family-based childcare staff. Data include indicators of school and classroom climate, efficacy, relationships, social and emotional skills, general indicators of wellbeing, and RULER implementation and efficacy.

Community partners for this project include Bridgeport Public Schools, Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition (Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership), Alliance for Community Empowerment, United Way of Coastal Fairfield County, Early Childhood Laboratory School at Housatonic Community College, Bridgeport YMCA, Child and Family Guidance Center, Child First, Skane School Consultation Center.

Innovation: St. Luke’s Community Wellness Project

Funding Source: St. Luke’s School

Team Members: Jessica Hoffmann, Jennifer Seibyl, Christina Cipriano, Linda Torv

This three-year collaboration between the YCEI and St. Luke’s School is focused on how schools can build policies and practices that establish and maintain the well-being of the entire school community including students, educators, leaders and families. This project includes exploring the utility of a suite of assessment tools built by the YCEI and their accompanying resources for next steps and supports, and repeated learning circles with educators, students, and families to uncover best practices, obstacles, and successes in whole-school community well-being work.

Innovation: Middle School RULER Deep Dive

Funding Source: Primed Foundation

Team Members: Jessica Hoffmann, Julie McGarry, Jennifer Seibyl, Christina Cipriano, Linda Torv

This project aims to follow two middle schools through their adoption of Middle School RULER, which was recently updated to include themed units and project-based learning components relevant to adolescent life including a focus on identity development and civic engagement. Schools will receive training in RULER and access to RULER Online and RULER coaching, while participating in a series of qualitative and quantitative studies to best understand obstacles to MS RULER implementation, necessary adaptations and best practices, and impact on school climate and student and educator well-being. The recently developed suite of assessments by the YCEI, including the School Climate Walkthrough, Momentary Emotion Assessment, Student Emotion Regulation Assessment, and Educator Well-being Toolkit will be used in concert to best support schools with identifying areas for improvement and tracking progress over time.

Innovation: Social and Emotional Learning Rubric for Children’s Storybooks

Funding Source: iRead Foundation, Shenzhen, China

Team Members: Zhenlan Wang and Craig Bailey

SEL Rubric for Children’s Storybooks in China is a two-year project that aims at creating an accessible and practical SEL Rubric by integrating empirical research on storybooks and Chinese culture. The Rubric will be created based on the analysis of 200 children’s storybooks (1st year) and the research of teachers’ application of the rubric (2nd year). Upon the completion of this project, we will publish the Rubric along with an SEL book list.