My name is Maurice J. Elias and I'm a professor of psychology at Rutgers and the director of the Social-emotional Learning Lab. I started out thinking I was going to be a clinical psychologist but I found myself seeing a lot of cases and looking at those cases and saying, "These folks did not have to end up in this difficult circumstance. If maybe the education system worked better, if maybe people were better prepared with parenting, things wouldn't have gotten to this point." So, I found myself being drawn more to the preventive side of things. And that got me naturally into education systems and parenting. Kindness is a very comprehensive term that, at the very least, means consideration for other's feelings. So, it's so critical for kids to have emotional intelligence and emotional intelligence skills to even have a chance of being kind because how can I be considerate of your feelings if I don't even recognize your feelings? So to me, I see kindness as being really, in a way, central. Kindness, caring, I see those really at the core of positive relationships with kids and parents. And from that kids with kids, kids with teachers, siblings, etcetera. We are in an era now where we're understanding that children's academic performance has something to do with how smart they are. But that's not the whole story. We know this because the rates of dropout in college are about 40% to 50%. We know that if you happen to be from a low-income disadvantaged minority community, particularly urban, your dropout rate might be 80% even 90%. Now this is dropping out of college, which means you are smart enough to get there. You didn't become stupid. So why are our kids not succeeding in college? It's not because they're not smart enough. It's because they don't have the social and emotional skills they need to bring their learning into action. And this is true in all areas of education that a classroom can only function if there is social and emotional competence among the kids. If the kids know how to speak to one another in a respectful tone, if they know how to listen to the teacher and focus on the instructions that the teacher is giving, if they know how to problem-solve when an answer is not clear, if they know if they're doing a project if they know how to make a plan and create a series of steps to get to a goal, if they know when to be a leader in a group of kids and also when to step back and just be a contributor. Classrooms cannot function without social and emotional competence. And so educators are starting to realize what the data has said for years; and that is that social and emotional competence is directly related to academic performance in kids. Beyond that, if kids don't have social and emotional skills, they're not going to be able to take their knowledge and put it to work. Some folks are now referring to this as moral character and performance character, with the idea of moral character being knowing the right thing to do, performance character being having the skills to do it. So, for example, I want to act in a responsible way and I understand what responsibility is, but I don't do it. Now, when you see a kid not acting in a responsible way, the tendency is to say that child is irresponsible, or the child doesn't want to be responsible. But from our perspective, a better thing to think about is maybe the child doesn't know how to be responsible. Maybe the child doesn't have the skills of good and careful listening. Maybe the child is not really well-organized, doesn't plan, doesn't keep track. Because in order to be responsible, even if you deeply want to be, you've got to have a lot of skills. And that's true in almost any area in an academic classroom. I can want to study. But do I know how to study? I can want to do well in Math. But do I have all the skills it takes to do well in Math? Which are not just Math skills. There's organizing for studying, preparation, practice. And the patience that it takes to do those things, the frustration tolerance that it takes to do all those things, they're all very basic. Common core curriculum right now is demanding kids, for example, that they have deep knowledge of text. Okay, great. Very important. On the other hand, the world is telling kids to Twitter and to express themselves in very small units. How are kids going to have deep knowledge of text without having to exert effort in order to get past that hump of doing things differently? That's going to come from having social and emotional competencies. At any area of a common core you would want to look at, social and emotional competencies are implicitly built in to the successful enactment of that standard. So, these things now go together perfectly and without that, we're not going to have academic success.