How Students Find Strength Now
An Opinion Project
The education field has been criticized for focusing too narrowly on a set of academic skills and disciplines, reinforced through standardized assessments, accountability measures, and other policy levers, but with the rise of the pandemic this spring and the national fight for racial justice, schools were forced to evolve quickly. At the same time, young people have been encountering death, food insecurity, trauma, and unemployment in their own homes all while getting a front seat to how democracy is—or isn’t—working for them. What has this meant for their educational experiences?
Many of those young people are displaying inner reserve, resiliency, self-regulation, leadership, service, and citizenship in ways that no one could have anticipated. In the essays and videos below, educators, students, and researchers explore how students have carved their own paths in recent months.
There’s a lot we can’t control this year, writes principal Jill Gurtner. Here’s what we can.
How Students Find Strength Now| Becoming Independent Learners – Collectively
Young people are experts in their own lives, writes Nicole Williams Beechum. Start treating them that way.
How Students Find Strength Now | Success Starts With Agency
Adults have a role to play in helping, rather than discouraging, student-activists like me, writes Brandon Griggs.
How Students Find Strength Now | Learning My Voice Has Power
The pandemic has underscored the need for student leadership, writes Robyn Lingo. What does that mean for schools?
How Students Find Strength Now | Supporting Student Leadership
Coaches can still help students find the benefits of youth athletics remotely, writes principal Patrick Burke.
How Students Find Strength Now | Everybody Needs a Team
Coverage of character education and development is supported in part by a grant from The Kern Family Foundation, at www.kffdn.org. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.
Illustrations: Taylor Callory for Education Week