Recently Jill Spencer and I had a great conversation with our resident experts on bullying and cyberbullying, Chuck Saufler and Stan Davis. They will be among the great team of consultants working with us at the Middle Level Education Institute August 1-4 at Thomas College.
Chuck and Stan are looking to engage all MLEI participants in a nationwide research project this summer! It’s called the Youth Voice Project. (www.youthvoiceproject.com) All schools with a representative at MLEI will be eligible to participate and will have access to the national database to see what the trends are and how their schools compare. Of course we’ll also have the opportunity to work directly with Chuck and Stan throughout the Institute!
When students feel safe and feel connected to peers and educators, they are more able to learn. Nowhere is that more true than in Middle School. The Youth Voice Project is analyzing the input of more than 13,000 youth nationwide on these and similar topics. We have found:
– that more than 1 in 8 students in grades 5-12 report both that they were mistreated at school twice a month or more AND that they have experienced moderate to very severe trauma as a result of that peer mistreatment
– that youth who report that they feel part of their school or that they feel valued at school are significantly less likely to report trauma as an after effect of mistreatment than those who do not.
– and that youth who report negative peer actions to teachers are less likely to report trauma as an after effect of peer mistreatment than those who do not.
It is clear from our work and from other research that connectedness and safety at school affect academic and life outcomes. Our workshop will focus on school actions to build connectedness and safety for all.
Here’s an article by Chuck explaining the importance of school climate and learning, School Climate, the Brain and Connection to School
And here’s the executive summary of Hardwired to Connect report that explains how our students really depend on schools to help them connect with one another and to adults for support in developing healthy relationships necessary for learning.
So if you’re looking to develop and implement a safe and positive school climate that supports more effective learning for ALL your students join us for this year’s Middle Level Education Institute at Thomas College in August! Just go to http://mleimaine.net and get connected!