Despite growing attention to the importance of grit and other character traits for achievement, developing them in students rarely finds its way into secondary school curricula. Authors Barbara Cervone and Kathleen Cushman investigate the exceptions, telling the stories of five high schools with a national reputation for infusing rigorous academics with social and emotional learning, which results in demonstrable benefits for students. Based on extensive interviews and on-site visits, the book identifies six elements that all of these schools have in common, including advisories and other structural supports for students and teachers; rituals and other means for establishing an intentional, reflective, and respectful community as well as a firm commitment to restorative justice; and a broad and engaging curriculum that includes service learning. Featuring the voices of educators and students alike, Belonging and Becoming not only shows how these schools stand out for their high degree of caring and success, but makes a strong case for why other schools should be inspired to take up the challenge and replicate their efforts.
About the Author
Barbara Cervone, EdD (HUGSE), is founder and president of What Kids Can Do, Inc., an international nonprofit organization that promotes the value of young people tackling projects that combine powerful learning with public purpose. From 1994 to 2001 she directed Walter H. Annenberg's "Challenge to the Nation," then the largest private investment in public education in the nation's history. In 2008 Dr. Cervone was awarded the Purpose Prize. Her many publications include "Powerful Learning with Public Purpose," in New Directions for Youth Development (Jossey-Bass, 2010); In Our Village, a book series documenting youth perspectives in international settings (Next Generation Press); and the first chapter, "Learning from the Leaders: Core Practices of Six Schools," in Anytime, Anywhere: Student-Centered Learning for Schools and Teachers (Harvard Education Press, 2013). Kathleen Cushman is an educator and writer who has specialized in the lives and learning of youth for twenty-five years. From 1989 to 2001 she documented theory and practice in schools nationwide for the Coalition of Essential Schools and the Annenberg Challenge, publishing many books, including Schooling and the Real World (Jossey-Bass, 1999) and The Collected Horace (Coalition of Essential Schools, 2001). In 2001 Cushman cofounded What Kids Can Do, Inc., with Barbara Cervone. Her work there has resulted in ten books, including the best-selling Fires in the Bathroom series (New Press, 2003, 2006), Fires in the Mind: What Kids Can Tell Us About Motivation and Mastery (Jossey-Bass, 2010), and The Motivation Equation (Next Generation Press, 2013). Her articles regularly appear in Educational Leadership, Phi Delta Kappan, and other periodicals and blogs for educators.