Humankind documentary: Whole Teachers — Whole Students

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Alan Page speaks to students at a Minneapolis middle school.
Former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and NFL Hall of Famer Alan Page spoke to students at a Minneapolis middle school in November 2018.
Tim Nelson | MPR News file

Beyond the formal curriculum in middle school, high school and college, many people believe it's important to build in social and emotional factors.

Some education experts say it’s vital to develop well-rounded students who are not just academically accomplished, but also have what's called "emotional intelligence" which will help them navigate high school, college and beyond. This involves skills like resilience and reflection — and the ability to think, listen, focus and understand.

These skills may better equip students to understand other people’s perspectives, and gain a different level of self-confidence which should result in less bullying and meanness.

And greater emotional intelligence will give them greater ability to face our world’s mounting challenges.

The Humankind program is called “Whole Teachers — Whole Students.” You’ll hear from educators and students at a middle school in San Francisco, and a college in Virginia.

The executive producer of Humankind is David Freudberg. It’s produced in association with WGBH Boston. For more information and other programs, go to

This broadcast is part of MPR’s “Call to Mind” initiative to promote conversations about better mental health.