Harnessing the Tools of Empathy and SEL to Prevent Bullying

(Grades PreK-5) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 153T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC42499


Course Description

Are you looking for practical strategies to prevent bullying and foster social-emotional learning and empathy among your primary grade students? Bullying is a very common, complex, and pervasive issue facing our students today. This online course is specifically designed for teachers in grades PreK-5 who are looking to seamlessly blend the core competencies of social-emotional learning with the principles of empathy education to prevent bullying. Teachers will be provided with thorough background information on the characteristics and various types of bullying, including cyberbullying. The cognitive and emotional deficits that impact students who bully will be examined as well as the major effects bullying has not just on victims, but bullies, bystanders, and social relationships in general. Teachers will be provided with an in-depth look into social-emotional learning and empathy-based learning and will understand the role both of these approaches play in combatting and preventing bullying behaviors. Specific strategies will be shared for creating a classroom climate that revolves around safety, acceptance, and empathy, as well as strategies for helping students develop a strong internal identity. Teachers will review numerous evidence-based bullying prevention programs and will learn strategies for selecting or designing their own. Finally, teachers will be provided with a variety of social-emotional, empathy-based lesson plans that can be adapted for all grade levels. By the end of this course, teachers will be well prepared to teach critical social-emotional and empathy skills to reduce and prevent bullying behaviors. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from University of California San Diego (UCSD) Division of Extended Studies. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$127 with the discount

Course with Credit from UCSD

$323 with the discount

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UCSD.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.


Click here to view the course syllabus.

Print our customized course approval form to share with your school district.

UCSD Course Number: EDUC42499
Unit One
  • Understanding Bullying
  • How to Identify Bullying in School
  • The Effects of Bullying on Students
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Understanding Bullying as a Social Relationship Problem
  • Social Aggression and Youth Violence
  • The Impact of Social Media on Cyberbullying
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Understanding Social-Emotional Learning
  • Combatting Bullying with the Five Core Competencies
  • The Role of SEL in Bullying Prevention
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • The Role of Empathy in Reducing Bullying Behaviors
  • How to Use the Core Competencies to Teach Empathy
  • Creating a Safe, Empathetic Classroom
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Building a Strong Internal Identity
  • Developing and Implementing a Successful Anti-Bullying Program
  • Evidence-Based Bullying Prevention Programs
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • SEL/Empathy-Based Lessons for Primary Elementary (PreK-1)
  • SEL/Empathy-Based Lessons for Middle Elementary (2-3)
  • SEL/Empathy-Based Lessons for Upper Elementary (4-5)
  • Assignment #4: Design three social-emotional and empathy-based lesson plans
  • Assignment #5: Course Reflection

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