Educator Resources – Papers and Studies

Fostering positive peer relationships

The second brief in the Fostering Strong Relationships series focuses on ways teachers can support positive peer interactions in the classroom, through intentional relationship-building and social perspective-taking strategies. In it, we discuss the research on the importance of strong peer relationships, the perspectives of educators and students in the schools we visited, and evidence-based best practices for building positive peer relationships.

Centering Educators’ Expertise: Learning About Innovative Approaches to Social-Emotional Learning from School Partners in the Boston Charter Research Collaborative

Grounding research-practice partnerships in educators’ expertise can offer us insight into innovative approaches that schools are using to foster student SEL. In our latest working paper from the Boston Charter Research Collaborative, we share lessons learned and recommendations for putting educators at the forefront of research-practice partnerships. We also share strategies and resources in use by BCRC educators from Roxbury Preparatory Charter School, Match Charter Public School, KIPP Massachusetts, and Boston Collegiate Charter School.

Which Individual and School-Level Factors Predict Student Perceptions of the School Climate in a Diverse Sample of Charter Schools Throughout the Country?

This working paper on student perceptions of their school culture and climate was produced as part of a multi-year partnership between Transforming Education & NewSchools Venture Fund. As part of this partnership, nearly 3,000 students in grades 4-12 from 18 innovative schools across the country were asked about their perceptions of seven distinct aspects of the school’s culture and climate: cultural and linguistic competence, learning strategies, rigorous expectations, school safety, sense of belonging, student engagement, and teacher-student relationships. The paper explores student and school-level factors that predict students’ perception of the school climate in this diverse sample of charter schools throughout the country.

Making Sense of Social-Emotional Survey Results Using the CORE Districts’ Benchmarking Data

While there has been a growing interest among districts and schools to expand their definition of student success to focus on the whole child, many educators still lack the measures needed to prioritize and inform this work. The CORE Districts, a group of districts in California committed to measuring and supporting an expanded definition of student success, have created a survey to identify the social-emotional strengths and needs for students in grades 4-12. This survey asks students about their perceptions of their own growth mindset, self-efficacy, self-management, and social awareness. Through Transforming Education’s resources and the Assessment Work Group Assessment Guide, the survey is freely accessible to any school or district seeking to administer it.

Mindfulness in the classroom: Learning from a school-based mindfulness intervention through the Boston Charter Research Collaborative

This paper reviews findings from a randomized controlled trial (RCT) at a partner school, focused on understanding the effects of a direct-to-student intervention on students’ mindfulness development. The paper describes the study in detail and provides additional information about the role of mindfulness in education. We also include recommendations and resources for educators seeking to integrate mindfulness practices into the classroom.

Working Paper: Measurement Properties of Student Social-Emotional Competency and School Culture-Climate Surveys in the NewSchools Invent Cohort

This is the first study to examine the measurement properties of a set of curated scales measuring students’ perceptions of their social-emotional competencies and of their school’s culture and climate. In this study, we examine how well the surveys were designed. Specifically, we explore the extent to which the items provide consistent and new information about the underlying constructs being assessed, the extent to which the items are interpreted comparably across student subgroups, and the extent to which the scales measure unique underlying constructs.

Insights from the Field: Facilitating Dialogue and Learning within a Research-Practice Partnership on Social-Emotional Learning

This paper—the third in a series on our work with the BCRC—shares what we, as a research-practice partnership (RPP), have learned about how a group of schools is connecting data on SEL to theories about practices. The paper describes the approach of the RPP: engaging practitioners in a dialogue about how best to use data and highlighting the ways in which schools are promoting SEL in the classroom.

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