This chapter describes a set of principles and practices that underlie positive relationships between adults and adolescents in educational settings, including schools and community-based programs. We begin by describing the critical importance of relationships in supporting adolescent development, noting that positive relationships with adolescents often look different depending on the context in which they occur. Using Sameroff & Chandler’s (1975) transactional model of development as a framework for thinking about positive relationships in educational contexts, we then describe a set of foundational practices that underlie most positive relationships with adolescents: (1) interpersonal practices that build positive relationships with adolescents, and (2) structural practices that build contexts where positive relationships with adolescents can occur. In the first section, we describe interpersonal practices that underlie developmentally appropriate, contextually and culturally relevant, reciprocal, and reliable partnerships with youth;here, we are using the term "partnerships" to flag the existence of reciprocal relationships that work towards shared goals. In the second section, we describe structural practices that foster relationship building: nurturing physical spaces, time and space to build trust, fun, and explicitly addressing institutional inequality. The chapter concludes with suggestions for educational practitioners seeking to build positive relationships with adolescents.
This article presents the ways in which conflict influences the educational trajectories and aspirations of Syrian children and young people. The findings are based on interviews conducted in Lebanon with Syrian learners, and teachers and administrators working with school-aged refugee students. Participants discussed significant barriers to education in this setting including political, social and economic factors. Learners continued to demonstrate a strong commitment to education despite these challenges, yet they were unsure whether their educational pursuits would secure their future aspirations. These results call into question the promises of refugee education.
The case focuses on decisions around language of instruction for refugees. It enables participants to engage with dilemmas that underlie education for development debates broadly, including education for whom, for what purposes, and for what future. Through the case, participants are able to analyze multiple perspectives on these issues, including of students, teachers, NGO staff, and UN agency staff.
The case study focuses on educational investments in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS). How can donors minimize the risks of investing in these contexts while at the same time meeting global commitments to high-quality education for all children? With this dilemma, the case zooms in on the evolution and decision-making of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the largest multistakeholder partnership in education. Participants analyze the possible mechanisms for GPE investment in FCAS through the historical example of the Democratic Republic of Congo. They then apply their thinking to the current case of Syrian refugees and debate the pros and cons of a role for GPE in ensuring education in this crisis.
The authors of this article, Silvia Diazgranados Ferráns and Robert Selman, use an emergent framework to explore how the rules of the school culture at different perceived school climates affect early adolescents' decisions to upstand, bystand, or join the perpetrators when they witness peer aggression and bullying. Through a grounded theory approach, they revisit interview data with twenty-three eighth graders in four middle schools with the aim of building on previous research and refining their theoretical framework to guide future research on bullying. The authors identify four school-level indicators that are salient in students’ perceptions of their school climate: safety, order, care, and empowerment—and examine how these indicators combine to configure three types of perceived school climates: negligent, authoritarian, and cohesive. They explore how these perceived school climates influence students' choice of strategy when they witness bullying in school and document a set of student recommendations about what schools can do to promote safety and prevent bullying.
Effective peace education helps to create a transformation in the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and relationships of its students. Drawing on their experiences training teachers as part of Juegos de Paz, an education for peace program that received support from the Colombian National Program for Citizenship Competencies, the authors explore transformative peace education and identify four key lessons for practitioners. Data from focus groups, interviews, and personal reflections are used to illustrate these principles and lessons. Additionally, it is suggested that there may be some transferability of these principles across contexts, since the program studied was originally developed in North America for use in urban elementary schools and was successfully adapted for use in rural Colombia.
This article explores the decision-making processes by which early adolescents choose a strategy to upstand, bystand, or join the perpetrators when they witness situations of physical and relational bullying in their schools. Authors Silvia Diazgranados Ferráns, Robert L. Selman, and Luba Falk Feigenberg analyze data from twenty-three interviews conducted with eighth graders in four middle schools using a grounded theory approach and propose an emerging theoretical framework to guide future research on bullying. Their framework includes a multilevel model that identifies nested sources of influence on students’ responses to bullying and a decision-making tree that hypothesizes different choice paths that student witnesses’ decision-making processes might follow in situations of bullying as predicted by the students’ positions along a set of “key social-relational indices.” Finally, the authors connect their findings with current debates in the field of moral decision making and discuss the implications for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers.
To understand and assess how early adolescents use their social perspective taking (SPT) skills in their consideration of social problems, we conducted two studies. In study 1, we administered a hypothetical SPT scenario to 359 fourth to eighth graders. Modeled on the linguistic pragmatics of speech acts, we used grounded theory to develop a functional approach that identified three types of SPT acts: (1) the acknowledgment of different actors, (2) the articulation of their thoughts and feelings, and (3) the positioning of the roles, experiences, or circumstances that influence how they resolve problems. Study 2 tested the validity of an expanded instrument, the Social Perspective Taking Acts Measure, with 459 fourth to eighth graders. We confirmed the structure of the construct with a fully saturated confirmatory factor analysis, with factor loadings in the range of .62 and .71, and a factor determinacy of .90. We obtained evidence of criterion-related validity by successfully predicting that girls and older participants would exhibit better performance than boys and younger students, and that SPT would exhibit a negative association with aggressive interpersonal strategies, a positive but moderate association with writing, and non-significant associations with academic language, complex reasoning, and reading skills.
We take advantage of data from the 2009 International Civic and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) (IEA, 2009; Schultz, et. al, 2009) to investigate the attitudes that young people from different socio-economic backgrounds in 22 countries from the European Union (EU) have toward equal rights for all ethnic/racial minorities and immigrants. We then use the contact hypothesis (Allport, 1954) to explore whether contact is associated with more supportive attitudes toward equal rights, and examine openness to classroom discussion and supportive student-teacher relationships as characteristics that may be necessary for contact to promote tolerance and inclusive attitudes toward others in school settings. We find that in most EU countries, students from advantaged SES backgrounds exhibit more supportive attitudes toward equal rights for ethnic/racial minorities and immigrants than students from low SES backgrounds. We also find that contact does not have an effect on students’ attitudes toward equal rights at a regional level, but country-level results are mixed and varied. Consistently across all EU countries, openness to classroom discussion and student-teacher relationship have a positive and statistically significant relationship with students' attitudes toward equal rights for ethnic/racial minorities and immigrants. We discuss implications for educators and policy-makers, limitations and future research.
This study aims to identify the effect of attending an enhanced-quality preschool program on students’ emergent math, emergent language and literacy, socio-personal skills and knowledge of health, hygiene, nutrition and safety. We used a quasi-experimental design with pre-post measures and two control groups, with data from a random sample of approximately 709 4–6-year-old children in 40 villages and 5 districts of Bangladesh. Controlling for demographic and baseline characteristics, we compared the outcomes of children who attended an enhanced-quality preschool with the outcomes of children who lived nearby, but were (1) not attending preschool or (2) attending a standard-quality government preschool. We found that, after controlling for baseline characteristics, initial pre-test differences that significantly favored children in enhanced-quality preschools over non-preschoolers significantly increased over time in all outcomes of interest. We did not find differences at baseline between children in the enhanced and the standard-quality preschools, but after the intervention, preschoolers in the enhanced program gained small and positive advantages over their counterparts, which were not statistically significant, possibly due to the sample size of the Government Public School group, which made us unable to detect effects sizes smaller than 0.25 standard deviations. We discuss implications, threats to validity and future research.
In Colombia, reducing levels of interpersonal and community violence is a key component of the country’s approach to citizenship education. In this study, we use data collected during the 2005 Saber test of Citizenship Competencies to examine the relationship of school environments and individual students’ supportive attitudes toward violence among 97,971 students in 1,649 schools. Using multi-level Tobit analysis with school random intercepts and regional fixed effects, we find that children taught in safe and participatory climates endorse attitudes less supportive of violence, with the effect of participatory climates almost double that of safe climates. Constructing a typology of four classroom environments, by crossing the two dimensions of safety and participation, we conclude that school environments that are safe and participatory lead to the least supportive attitudes toward violence, more than one standard deviation lower than unsafe and non-participatory school environments. Implications, limitations and areas for future research are discussed.