Schools are increasingly seen as having a promising role to play in reducing adverse health and wellness outcomes among young people. This paper uses a collaborative action research approach to examine the effects of one school’s efforts to change its students eating habits by implementing a “junk food free campus.” By engaging school administrators and students in a six-month long process of joint research design and analysis, the author found that students understood but did not necessarily support the policy. Despite students’ uneven support of the policy, however, there was some evidence that some students were developing healthier eating habits. Moreover, student researchers reported developing greater perspective and respect for the policy as a result of studying it.
. Education, Citizenship, and Social Justice, .Abstract
In Colombia, reducing levels of interpersonal and community violence is a key component of the country’s approach to citizenship education. In this study, we use data collected during the 2005 Saber test of Citizenship Competencies to examine the relationship of school environments and individual students’ supportive attitudes toward violence among 97,971 students in 1,649 schools. Using multi-level Tobit analysis with school random intercepts and regional fixed effects, we find that children taught in safe and participatory climates endorse attitudes less supportive of violence, with the effect of participatory climates almost double that of safe climates. Constructing a typology of four classroom environments, by crossing the two dimensions of safety and participation, we conclude that school environments that are safe and participatory lead to the least supportive attitudes toward violence, more than one standard deviation lower than unsafe and non-participatory school environments. Implications, limitations and areas for future research are discussed.
The authors of this article, Silvia Diazgranados Ferráns and Robert Selman, use an emergent framework to explore how the rules of the school culture at different perceived school climates affect early adolescents' decisions to upstand, bystand, or join the perpetrators when they witness peer aggression and bullying. Through a grounded theory approach, they revisit interview data with twenty-three eighth graders in four middle schools with the aim of building on previous research and refining their theoretical framework to guide future research on bullying. The authors identify four school-level indicators that are salient in students’ perceptions of their school climate: safety, order, care, and empowerment—and examine how these indicators combine to configure three types of perceived school climates: negligent, authoritarian, and cohesive. They explore how these perceived school climates influence students' choice of strategy when they witness bullying in school and document a set of student recommendations about what schools can do to promote safety and prevent bullying.
. International Journal of Communication, , 8, 210-233.Abstract
Social media have dramatically altered the communication landscape, offering novel contexts for individual expression. But how do youth who are civically engaged off-line manage opportunities for civic expression on social media? Interviews with 70 U.S.-based civic youth aged 15 to 25 revealed three main patterns characterizing the relationship between off-line participation and online expression: blended, bounded, and differentiated. Five sets of empirically derived considerations influencing expression patterns emerged: organizational policies, personal image and privacy, perceived alignment with civic goals, attitudes toward the platform(s), and perceptions of their audience(s). Most civic youth express the civic online, yet a minority highlight tensions that lead them to refrain from sharing in certain or all online contexts.
In this article, James Noonan uses the methodology of portraiture to examine how the administrative team and the teachers at a small, urban middle school approach school improvement. He illustrates the ways in which the pressures associated with attempting school reform in our current high-accountability environment make it difficult for school personnel to engage in the deep learning that transformative change requires. Using observational data and semi-structured interviews, Noonan finds that at Fields Middle School district-initiated redesign is built around an expansive view of learning that embraces uncertainty, collaboration, and reflection as catalysts for broad and sustained school improvement. He illuminates school transformation efforts that hinge on the learning of adults and an understanding of schools as learning organizations, in contrast to reform efforts that adopt linear and hierarchical views of teaching and learning.
Diazgranados, S., Noonan, J., Brion-Meisels, S., Chávez, M., Saldarriaga, L., Daza, B. C., & Antonellis, I. (2014).
Effective peace education helps to create a transformation in the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and relationships of its students. Drawing on their experiences training teachers as part of Juegos de Paz, an education for peace program that received support from the Colombian National Program for Citizenship Competencies, the authors explore transformative peace education and identify four key lessons for practitioners. Data from focus groups, interviews, and personal reflections are used to illustrate these principles and lessons. Additionally, it is suggested that there may be some transferability of these principles across contexts, since the program studied was originally developed in North America for use in urban elementary schools and was successfully adapted for use in rural Colombia.
This article explores the decision-making processes by which early adolescents choose a strategy to upstand, bystand, or join the perpetrators when they witness situations of physical and relational bullying in their schools. Authors Silvia Diazgranados Ferráns, Robert L. Selman, and Luba Falk Feigenberg analyze data from twenty-three interviews conducted with eighth graders in four middle schools using a grounded theory approach and propose an emerging theoretical framework to guide future research on bullying. Their framework includes a multilevel model that identifies nested sources of influence on students’ responses to bullying and a decision-making tree that hypothesizes different choice paths that student witnesses’ decision-making processes might follow in situations of bullying as predicted by the students’ positions along a set of “key social-relational indices.” Finally, the authors connect their findings with current debates in the field of moral decision making and discuss the implications for researchers, practitioners, and policy makers.