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

This research review from the Student Experience Research Network (SERN) 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. It 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. Throughout, the review identifies implications for system- and institution-level decisionmakers in the education sector, who play a role in shaping students’ experiences of belonging just as much as classroom educators and peers do.

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