About Vicki Zakrzewski

Vicki Zakrzewski (zahk-shef-skee), Ph.D., is the education director of the Greater Good Science Center.
During her 20 years of experience in education, Vicki has worked as a private school director, classroom teacher at California’s first public charter school (which served as the model for Aspire charter schools), administrator at Kaiser Permanente’s award-winning Educational Theatre Programs, children’s playwright for a worldwide humanitarian non-profit, curriculum developer, educational evaluator, grant writer, and researcher.
Vicki co-led the Ball Foundation’s story project for personal transformation as part of the organization’s strategy for bringing systemic change to school districts. Recently, she spent two months in India at a school awarded the Peace Education Prize by UNESCO and the Hope of Humanity Award by the Dalai Lama in order to research their methods for teaching students how to become caring citizens of the world. Vicki has a B.A. from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Education and Positive Psychology from Claremont Graduate University, where she studied under the guidance of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

What’s Wrong with Grit?

grit academic success

Vicki Zakrzewski: Are students who demonstrate high levels of grit—particularly when pressured by parents and teachers–dealing with their emotions in a positive or negative way?

How to Integrate Social-Emotional Learning into Common Core

teacher student

Social-Emotional Learning — I found the Common Core Standards provide an excellent excuse for the teaching of social-emotional skills.

How to Reduce Violence after School Closures

chicago school closing protest

Vicki Zakrzewski: Planned school closings have been met with angry protests from teachers and parents who argue that the closures will force students to cross dangerous gang lines on their way to school.

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