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We Belong in School: Interventions to Promote Social Belonging for Educational Equity and Student Success

Can a sense of belonging influence a young person’s engagement, motivation, and persistence in school? Research is increasingly recognizing that feeling valued and accepted by others is an important psychological factor for academic success, particularly for underrepresented groups of students.

On March 15, 2016, REL Northwest held a webinar that provided educators, counselors, and mentors with actionable strategies to cultivate a sense of belonging in students.

The webinar featured Dr. Karyn Lewis of Education Northwest and the Strategic Data Project at Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research, who highlighted the research linking social belonging to a range of academic outcomes. Dr. Dave Paunesku, Executive Director of the Stanford University Project for Education Research That Scales (PERTS), led a discussion on how empirically supported interventions can be practically applied in the classroom and in one-on-one interactions with students. He also shared how learning mindsets and belonging can work together as interventions to improve academic achievement.