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We Are Made to Connect (U.S. Surgeon General)

Following its advisory on the healing effects of social connection and community, in December of 2023, the United States Surgeon General launched a national connection challenge to encourage people to prioritize their relationships. The “5-for-5 Connection Challenge’ involves taking five actions that express gratitude to, offer support to, or ask for help from people over five days. These simple but powerful actions build and strengthen relationships and inspire others to incorporate connection as part of their daily lives.

Core Practice Continuum: Supporting Student Agency (Turnaround for Children)

Turnaround’s Core Practice Continuum for Student Agency is a tool designed to prompt reflection and empower growth across roles in a school by providing rich descriptions of quality and categorically different images of practice across levels that lead to student agency. The Core Practice Continuum for Student Agency is intended for use by individual educators who engage with students in various ways in a school community, including teachers, student support staff, instructional support staff, school leaders and administrators. The continuum is intentionally framed to show a developmental progression of practice and pathways to improvement.

Get Schooled: Student Stories from Across KY

Get Schooled is a youth-led podcast series that amplifies and elevates the stories and voices of students so that they can have agency in our education system. Get Schooled is produced by the Kentucky Student Voice Team, a statewide organization of young people co-creating more just, democratic Kentucky schools and communities as research, policy and advocacy partners.

Building a Belonging Classroom (Edutopia) (video)

To learn, students need to feel safe, cared for, and emotionally connected to their teachers and each other. This Edutopia video, which is part of Edutopia’s How Learning Happens series, shares some ideas for building belonging in the classroom.

How to Cultivate a Sense of Belonging in Schools (The Edvocate)

The Edvocate offers six tips for fostering a culture of belonging, inclusiveness, and mutual respect. Together, they underscore the roll of creating a positive and supportive space, and encouraging social interactions while acknowledging and celebrating diversity, promoting teacher-student relationships, and ensuring student involvement in decision making.

Student Agency for 2030 (OECD)

In 2015, the OECD launched the Future of Education and Skills 2030 project, which aims help education systems determine the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values students need to thrive in and shape their future. The first part of the work involved the development of the Learning Compass, a framework that creates common language for broad education goals, and defines the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that learners need to fulfil their potential and contribute to the well-being of their communities and the planet. Student agency is one of the Learning Compass’ core concepts. Read more about the role of…

Youth Voice and Choice (XQ Institute)

Youth Voice and Choice is one of the XQ Institute’s six core design principles for creating a school where exciting and rigorous teaching and learning happens. This article shares advice for empower students as leaders and thinkers by giving them a say in what and how they learn, and another resource outlines five ideas – and why they matter – for incorporating student voice and choice in your school, to design the best school experience possible

Ten Ways to Help Students Motivate Themselves (EdWeek)

Former and current educators share their ideas on how to encourage student motivation in this April 2023 blog post. Whitney Emke highlights the role of fostering belonging, purpose, and agency, and Laura Robb offers seven classroom conditions, like student-centered learning, collaboration and reflection, that nurture positive relationships to build a community of engaged learners.

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