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Structures for Belonging Professional Learning Materials
This professional learning presentation provides a high-level overview of the research on belonging-supportive learning environments; includes examples of what belonging-supportive learning environments look like in practice; and connects participants with existing resources for applying insights from the research. The presentation is customizable and is designed to be relevant for a range of audiences in K-12 education in the United States, including teachers, school and district leaders, teacher educators, and intermediary organization staff. The presentation contains up to three hours of presentation and activity time.
What makes a classroom a community? Teacher mindsets and student sense of belonging in middle school mathematics classes
This research snapshot provides an overview of a project led by Eric Grodsky and Patti Schaefer, funded through the SERN K-12 Teachers and Classrooms Research Portfolio. Drawing on a sample of 1,887 students and 60 teachers from five middle schools in the Madison Metropolitan School District, the study examines: (1) How is student sense of belonging distributed within and between middle school mathematics classes? (2) How is teacher mindset related to student sense of belonging, academic identity, and student success in middle school in general and mathematics classes in particular? and (3) How, if at all, does the relationship between belonging and achievement vary by student race and ethnicity?
Classroom contexts, student mindsets, and (in)equity in computer science: A national longitudinal study
This research snapshot provides an overview of a project led by Neil Lewis, Jr. and Rene Kizilcec, funded through the SERN K-12 Teachers and Classrooms Research Portfolio. The study investigates the psychological experience of more than 106,000 high school students from across the United States who were enrolled in Code.org's Advanced Placement Computer Science course during the 2017-2018 school year. The researchers examine relationships between student demographics, mindsets, and course outcomes.
Belonging-Centered Instruction: An approach toward building inclusive mathematics classrooms
This research snapshot provides an overview of a project led by Jamaal Matthews and DeLeon Gray, funded through the SERN K-12 Teachers and Classrooms Research Portfolio. The researchers describe the development and validation of their Belonging-Centered Instruction Observation Protocol, which evaluates the multiple ways mathematics teachers can provide opportunities for active inclusion, learning equity, and empowerment through their instruction and in the social climate they create in their classrooms. They discuss the connections between the protocol and student engagement, mathematical agency, and achievement, as well as how teachers enact the various dimensions of the protocol within lessons.
Structures for Belonging: A Synthesis of Research on Belonging-Supportive Learning Environments
This synthesis discusses both K-12 and postsecondary educational contexts, and includes research from diverse academic disciplines including social psychology, cultural psychology, sociology, adolescent development, neuroscience, economics, and education. It discusses structural factors related to belonging in four overlapping categories: access to learning environments; relationships with educators, peers, and families; instructional resources and pedagogy; and system-level policies and practices. Throughout, it identifies implications for system- and institution-level decision-makers in the education sector, who play a role in shaping students’ experiences of belonging just as much as classroom educators and peers do.
Social and environmental influences on motivation for learning: The relationship between childhood adversity and motivational beliefs among older children and adolescents
This research snapshot provides an overview of a SERN-funded project led by Katie McLaughlin and Rob Crosnoe. The project explores whether exposure to common forms of childhood adversity is associated with children’s learning mindsets, including growth mindset, sense of belonging at school, perceived utility value of school, and purpose for learning, as well as how these associations vary across different types of adversity. The snapshot shares key findings, insights, and future directions for the project.
The Impact of the African American Male Achievement Initiative on High School Success and Implications for Advancing Equity at a District Level
This research snapshot provides an overview of a SERN-funded project by Thomas Dee and Emily Penner that analyzed the impact of the African American Male Achievement (AAMA) program in Oakland, California. The AAMA is the first program in the nation to embed a culturally-centered curriculum specifically targeted to black male students into the regular school day at the district level. The study used data from a 12-year period to assess the program's impact on high school persistence. The snapshot shares key findings, insights, and future directions for the project.
Relationships between mindsets and academic outcomes in a statewide system of higher education
This research snapshot provides an overview of a SERN-funded project led by Christopher Hulleman and Stephanie Wormington. The project explored whether students’ learning mindsets as they enter college are related to their academic success during the first two years of school. The snapshot shares key findings, information on the interdisciplinary research team, and insights and future directions for the project.