“We’ve found a common denominator in our work—a thread that ties together concerns of students, effective middle level practices, and young adolescent development. That common factor is the profound need and desire for young adolescents to find places where they feel they can belong and can discover who they are and who they want to become.”
The foundational concepts of belonging and becoming weave throughout this book as authors Laurie Barron and Patti Kinney help us understand why these concepts are so critical and how to help our students on the path to belonging and becoming. With current thinking and up-to-date research, Laurie and Patti discuss and share dozens of school and classroom examples on topics such as
- Executive function
- Student voice/choice
- Special education
- Staff development
- Student leadership
- Engaging parents
- Reflective practices
- Celebrating success
Part 1 lays the foundation by (1) sharing the importance of a common understanding of becoming and belonging, (2) the establishment of solid school policies and practices based on the characteristics of young adolescents, and (3) the creation of organizational structures that promote respectful relationships.
Part 2 includes practical strategies and examples to help students experience their schools as places where they can belong and become.