The first Social and Emotional Learning Professional Development Program
for K-12 Catholic School Educators

Insight is a one-of-a-kind professional development program that brings together contributions from the psychological sciences and the Catholic intellectual tradition. The Insight video series offers a fresh look at Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) through the lens of the Catholic Christian vision of the human person, specifically as taught by Saint Thomas Aquinas.

This FREE program consists of 10 brief Video Lessons, a Discussion Guide, and a Prayer Companion featuring sacred art and scripture. Insight was designed for Catholic school educators, school counselors, and parents, and may be used in monthly faculty meetings, in small groups, or for private study. 

To learn more about Insight, view our informational webinar! 

"The Institute has developed a fantastic professional development resource for Catholic school teachers. This Social and Emotional Learning series is a beautiful blend of Catholic wisdom and psychological insight, brought to life in the context of the classroom and the mission of Catholic education. Superintendents, principals, and school leaders should put this series first on the list of recommended professional development resources. And teachers seeking the latest insights, wise guidance, and practical solutions to help their students flourish will find just what they need at the Institute for the Transformation of Catholic Education. It’s exactly what the Church needs right now to advance the mission and promise of Catholic education both today and for decades to come."
Mary Rice Hasson, JD
Kate O'Beirne Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington DC

Elements of the program

Using Insight in a Faculty Meeting

Ideal time: 30 – 45 minutes

  1. Begin with an Opening Prayer to the Holy Spirit (page 3 of the Prayer Companion).
  2. Watch the brief video lesson together.
  3. Either together or in small groups discuss the questions provided in this Discussion Guide.
  4. As your time permits, spend some time in private reflection and group discussion of the image and scripture in the Prayer Companion.

Scope and Sequence

Essential question: What is distinctive about the way Insight is approaching Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)?

In this video, we will:

  • Define Social and Emotional Learning and its common uses in education.
  • Identify distinctive features of the Insight Program.

Essential question: Who is the human person?

In this video, we will:

  • Discuss what it means to be a human person, made in God’s image.
  • Articulate the basis for the dignity of the human person.

Essential question: How do I understand and integrate my emotions?

In this video, we will:

  • Explain how to help our students to identify and integrate emotions in their lives.
  • Define virtue and identify its impact in guiding the emotions.

Essential question: How do I overcome cognitive distortions to think clearly?

In this video, we will:

  • Examine common cognitive distortions that affect our accuracy in perceiving reality.
  • Demonstrate that overcoming distortions is necessary to human flourishing.

Essential question: How do I move from ideas to action?

In this video, we will:

  • Consider the role of self-reflection as it plays into prudent decision making.
  • Discuss how we can help our students to become reflective and decisive individuals.
  • Explain how the virtue of prudence helps us to apply right reason to particular decisions.

Essential question: How do I recognize and respond to anxiety?

In this video, we will:

  • Define anxiety and list its key signs in the classroom.
  • Recognize how my personal anxiety affects my ability to relate to my students.
  • Identify ways to respond to anxious students.

Essential question: How do I learn from mistakes?

In this video, we will:

  • Identify the role of mistakes in growth.
  • Explain the relationship between fortitude and resilience.

Essential question: How do I recognize and respond to anger?

In this video, we will:

  • Identify how to recognize and respond to anger in healthy ways.
  • Explain how the virtues of fortitude and patience help us in enduring wrongs done to us.

Essential question: How do I build trusting teacher-student relationships?

In this video, we will:

  • Identify the foundation for building trusting relationships.
  • Describe how through presence we can foster trusting relationships between teachers and students in the classroom.

Essential question: How do I foster trusting peer relationships in my classroom?

In this video, we will:

  • Discuss qualities of authentic friendship.
  • Explore ways to develop students’ capacity for effective communication.
  • Identify the role of empathy in building trusting relationships.

Essential question: How do I learn to forgive?

In this video, we will:

  • Explain the terms justice, forgiveness, and mercy.
  • Discuss how forgiveness, justice, and mercy play out in the school setting.


"The educational value of Christian anthropology is obvious. Here is where students discover the true value of the human person: loved by God, with a mission on earth and a destiny that is immortal. As a result, they learn the virtues of self-respect and self-love, and of love for others - a love that is universal. In addition, each student will develop a willingness to embrace life, and also his or her own unique vocation, as a fulfillment of God's will."
Congregation for Catholic Education
The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School, 76