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This paper summarizes five developmental characteristics of young adolescents and their implications for practice in schooling: physical, intellectual, emotional/psychological, moral/ethical, and social developmental characteristics. Practitioners, parents, and others who work with young adolescents need to be aware of any changes—subtle or obvious—in these developmental characteristics.

This analysis revealed that chronic absence is a significant issue in Oregon, dragging down academic performance, for communities and students of all demographic backgrounds, but especially those in families living in poverty.The good news is that this research also shows that chronic absence is a solvable problem. While many schools are struggling with high levels of chronic absence, the research also identified schools that are beating the odds by maintaining higher than expected attendance rates despite serving high risk populations.

July 2007

In this report, we look closely at students’ performance in their coursework during their freshman year, how it is related to eventual graduation, and how personal and school factors contribute to success or failure in freshman-year courses in Chicago public high schools. We show that data on course performance can be used to identify future dropouts and graduates with precision, and we compare performance indicators to discern how they might be used for nuanced targeting of students at-risk of dropping out.

This news article discusses the research of Dr. Jay Giedd, chief of brain imaging in the child psychiatry branch at the National Institute of Mental Health, to determine how the brain develops from childhood into adolescence and on into early adulthood.

This guide is divided into three sections. The first section outlines the developmental characteristics (the intellectual, social, physical, emotional and psychological, and moral characteristics) of young adolescents Turning Points schools seek to address. The second section addresses the implications these characteristics hold for teaching and learning by suggesting six areas Turning Points schools engage in to respond to the unique needs of young adolescent learners:

January 30, 2008

This powerpoint presentation describes the following three stepts to reducing dropouts: 1) understand the dropout problem in your community, 2) build an early  warning, prevention, and intervention system, 3) involve the community.

Solving problems and responding to life’s demands requires thinking skills. If a child doesn’t have the skills to handle a problem or expectation adaptively, the result will likely be some form of maladaptive or challenging behavior. This inventory tool helps identify the chronic problems adults have with the child or the demands that trigger the child (triggers and unsolved problems) and the skills the child lacks that s/he would need to handle those unsolved problems/triggers more adaptively (skill deficits).

This article looks at the effect of school infrastructure on student attendance and drop-out rates. The study finds that the quality of school infrastructure has a significant effect on school attendance and drop-out rates. Students are less likely to attend schools in need of structural repair, schools that use temporary structures, and schools that have understaffed janitorial services.

March 2006

While some students drop out because of significant academic challenges, most dropouts are students who could have, and believe they could have, succeeded in school. This survey of young people who left high school without graduating suggests that, despite career aspirations that require education beyond high school and a majority having grades of a C or better, circumstances in students’ lives and an inadequate response to those circumstances from the schools led to dropping out.

2010

This monograph was written to assist park and recreation professionals and elected officials to better understand the important role of park and recreation services, facilities, and programs in the process of youth development. Historically, park and recreation departments have included youth development as part of their missions, although the term “youth development” is relatively new.

In this paper, the authors propose a model of the prosocial classroom that highlights the importance of teachers’ social and emotional competence (SEC) and well-being in the development and maintenance of supportive teacher-student relationships, effective classroom management, and successful social and emotional learning (SEL) program implementation. This model proposes that these factors contribute to creating a classroom climate that is more conducive to learning that promotes positive developmental outcomes among students.

This report summarizes results from three large-scale reviews of research on the impact of social and emotional learning (SEL) programs on elementary and middle-school students. Results found that SEL programs yielded multiple benefits and were effective in both school and after-school settings and for students with and without behavioral and emotional problems. They were also effective across the K-8 grade range and for racially and ethnically diverse students from urban, rural, and suburban settings.

This Executive Summary to a report on The Importance of Being in School: A Report on Absenteeism in the Nation's Public Schools looks at data from six states on their measures of chronic absenteeism: Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Nebraska, Oregon and Rhode Island. The states reported chronic absentee rates from 6 percent to 23 percent, with chronic absenteeism most prevalent in urban areas, among low-income students, and concentrated in relatively few schools.Chronic absenteeism begins to rise in middle school and continues climbing through 12th grade.

National research has established that students who are chronically absent as early as kindergarten have lower achievement in later grades. To demonstrate that connection in New York City schools, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity reviewed the attendance records, state assessment scores and various demographic factors for fourth-graders attending New York City public schools in the 2007-08 school year. The study considered attendance in both third and fourth grades, and analyzed
other school and student factors that can weigh heavily on academic performance.

This newsletter addresses student motivation and illustrates strategies that can help create a meaningful curriculum to engage middle level learners. Educators can facilitate student engagement by fostering motivation with task-oriented learning environments and teaching students that building new knowledge requires effort. In addition, when curriculum content and learning tasks are relevant and authentic and incorporate choice, students are more likely to view their education as purposeful and engaging.