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Curriculum and Instruction

The most recent publications appear first.

Structures for Belonging: A Synthesis of Research on Belonging-Supportive Learning Environments

2020, Student Experience Research Network

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.

What we know about purpose & relevance from scientific research

2019, Student Experience Research Network

This research brief offers a summary of what we know about purpose & relevance from years of scientific research.

The Impact of the African American Male Achievement Initiative on High School Success and Implications for Advancing Equity at a District Level

2019, Student Experience Research Network

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.

Leveraging mindset science to design educational environments that nurture people’s natural drive to learn

2017, Student Experience Research Network

This research synthesis provides an overview of how insights from mindset science can inform the design of educational environments in K-12 and postsecondary education. It describes how students' psychological experience of school shapes their motivation to learn and their learning outcomes. The brief distills principles from 40 years of research on mindsets and motivation about how of learning environments can be designed to be inclusive, growth-oriented, and meaningful.