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MOSAIC: Mastering Our Skills and Inspiring Character


MOSAIC is a collaboration between the Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab and the Jersey City Public Schools.  The goals of MOSAIC are to help middle school students develop Positive Purpose, social-emotional skills, and inspiration to become their "best selves" in order to make contributions to their school, the community, and the wider world.  


The MOSAIC approach includes a three-year curriculum to build students’ social-emotional skills and virtues, create opportunities for youth voice in schools, and promote a respectful and caring school climate. MOSAIC guides middle school students to find their positive purpose by supporting character inspiration and skill mastery in daily 15-minute lessons sequenced around monthly themes. These lessons can serve as the focus of Advisories or they can be integrated into extended homeroom periods or subject area classes, like social studies.  For the latter, lessons can be combined, so that 3 would comprise a typical class period.

Curriculum →


Student “Ambassadors” are elected in MOSAIC advisories to serve as classroom and school leaders, connecting advisories to student government and school administration, affording a structure for students to become engaged, involved stakeholders in ongoing issues among peers, school, and community. 

Ambassadors →


In three videos, real MOSAIC student ambassadors, teachers, and administrators speak about their perspectives on MOSAIC implementation and impact.

Impact →

Training Videos

In MOSAIC Instructional Strategy Videos 1-4, real MOSAIC teachers demonstrate how to teach a complete MOSAIC lesson in a 15-minute advisory period. They show four essential MOSAIC pedagogy methods (PLAN, respectful debate, yes-no-maybe, and effective discussion). Next to each video are links to relevant curriculum materials.

Training Videos →

Supplemental Lessons

Six supplemental MOSAIC Lessons are available here. These lessons cover additional topics and integrate into academic and art classes.

Supplemental Lessons →

Purpose Essays

The “Purpose Essay” component of MOSAIC provides a meaningful intervention that is intentionally integrated into language arts classes. See sample essays here. 

Purpose Essays →


See responses to commonly asked questions about MOSAIC.

Have Questions? →

Student Thoughts About Purpose


"However, just having a purpose isn't event enough; it takes dedication, determination, and diligence to actually achieve your goal. "

- 8th Grade

So many people walk through life, feeling numb and desperate for a deeper connection, but just learn to be bigger than yourself and you’ll learn that the life we’ve been given is a gift, and we must make the most of it and not waste a second.
— 8th Grade
Remember that you create your own path with your own choices, and there’s never a wrong answer to what you want to do. Dorothy got lost here and there, but she always found her way back to the yellow brick road. She always kept her head up and kept believing even when there was no hope. It’s time we all find our own yellow brick road, and follow it to meet our destiny...our purpose.
— 7th Grade