A Culture of Equity

Leader in Me Schools create opportunities for everyone to succeed regardless of socioeconomic status (SES).


The Equity Gap

Below is a comparison of student outcomes that are a result of a high vs. low socioeconomic status (SES).

High SES Students

are more likely to:


Believe They Belong

Have Positive School Culture

Graduate From High School

Low SES Students

are more likely to:

Get Suspended

Struggle with Attendance

Have Emotional Issues

Move Schools Multiple Times

Social-emotional learning (SEL) skills like perseverance, self-control, and optimism are critical tools for improving outcomes for low-income students.

– How Children Succeed, Paul Tough

New Paradigms of Equity

Create a school culture that focuses on overcoming the limiting paradigms common among schools.

Leader in Me equips teachers with much more than academic toolkits. By building their social and emotional capacity, teachers can model and effectively develop the social-emotional learning (SEL) of their students and successfully address the paradigms that limit potential.

Limiting Paradigms

Leader in Me Paradigms

Control student behaviors with punishments and rewards. Empower long-term student success by tapping into students’ internal motivation and unique talents.
Reinforce limiting paradigms about low-SES students’ abilities and potential. Foster an optimism for personal and academic growth through goal achievement and SEL skill development.
Teach SEL in disjointed lessons by teachers who have been given little or no training. Invest in building the SEL capacity of all teachers and staff so they can model and empower student SEL development in a unified and supportive school culture.
Focus SEL approach within the school. Provide SEL development to families and the community to reinforce student development and maximize opportunities for application of SEL skills.

Staff Training

Teachers and staff develop their personal and professional SEL capacity through in-depth training and collaborative support. Training workshops establish new paradigms and behaviors that help staff model and communicate equity among students.

Student Learning

Students are taught SEL through:

  • Direct SEL lessons from teachers.
  • Collaborative, self-directed learning opportunities in the classroom.
  • Student-led action teams that Synergize®  together.

Student Application

Students apply SEL principles in the classroom and schoolwide leadership opportunities. It is common at Leader in Me Schools to see students resolving their own conflicts without adults intervening.

Student Ownership

Students are empowered to lead their own learning through:

  • Risk-taking
  • Self- advocacy
  • Enlisting social resources
  • Developing experience-based self-confidence

Culture Transformation

As the school engages in SEL behaviors, the school culture encourages an atmosphere that is safe, supportive, and engaging. Students help create a culture of equity that a visitor can see, hear, and feel throughout the school.

A Transition Person

Leader in Me encourages schools to help students recognize their great potential and vision for college, career, and life-readiness.

Evidence-Based Research

What additional research exists on the effectiveness of Leader in Me?

Leader in Me Schools address a variety of common challenges that educators face as they continue to improve equity and provide opportunities for all students.


Is Leader in Me Right for You?

 Learn how thousands of schools in over 50 countries worldwide are discovering answers to some of the most challenging issues educators face today.

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