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PassageWorks Institute

Boulder, Colorado, US

PassageWorks Institute provides educators and school leaders a practical, relationship-centered approach to transforming the culture of classrooms, schools and districts.

The PassageWorks Institute is a non-profit organization providing K-12 educators with innovative practices and principles that integrate social, emotional and academic learning and assist teachers to develop and sustain their own authentic and intentional teaching practice.

For over two decades, teachers have used this practical, relationship-based approach to support students to increase focus and motivation, develop empathy and compassion, and experience a sense of deep connection, meaning and purpose in the classroom. PassageWorks practices and principles support the inner lives of teachers and students. By “inner life” we refer to that essential aspect of human nature that yearns for deep connection, grapples with difficult questions about meaning, and seeks a sense of purpose and genuine self-expression. The Institute was founded in 2001 by Rachael Kessler and colleagues after the publication of Kessler’s groundbreaking book The Soul of Education (ASCD 2000).

PassageWorks offers courses, on-site professional development, curricula resources, and publications and collaborates with educators and organizations around the country on field-building initiatives and programs. PassageWorks has been a pioneer in recognizing and responding to a need now demonstrated in a growing body of research: supporting students during critical transition years is an essential component of their resilience and future success. We offer curricular resources for each transition in the Kindergarten through high school cycle of schooling: the transitions into and out of elementary, middle and high schools and a curriculum for “Newcomer” adolescents who are making the shift to the United States from another culture, country and language.

Organizational Information


Areas of Work

Age range

  • 0–25