Youth Development Today is a monthly newsletter focused on youth well-being and student success. Each issue offers a balanced collection of practice-based insights, academic research, and grey literature.
This animated video explains the concept of a growth mindset (the belief that intelligence can be developed) vs. a fixed mindset (the belief that intelligence is a fixed trait). It explores the impact of these mindsets on child development and attainment, as well as ways in which adults can help young people develop a growth mindset.
This new study finds that the way adolescents feel about their appearance can have a significant impact on their health and wellness. Conducted by a body image expert and assistant professor at the University of Missouri’s School of Social Work, the research demonstrated that negative body image is associated with increased tobacco and alcohol use, with implications for both young men and women.
There is an emerging trend in American high schools to transform education by adopting practices from preschool, including project-based learning, the ideas of Maria Montessori, and the Reggio Emilia method. There is limited evidence to suggest that transplanting these approaches to high school benefits students.
Strong relationships with parents, teachers, and non-parental adults are fundamental to youth success and impact a variety of indicators of psychological, social-emotional, academic, and behavioural well-being. The number of such relationships in young people’s lives is also important, particularly for youth living in contexts of risk and disadvantage.
This special issue of the journal The Future of Children is dedicated to Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in schools and in after-school programs. When implemented well, SEL programs can have a measurable and long-lasting impact on many aspects of children’s and young people’s lives.
Knowing how to identify and build on student strengths is a critical skill for teachers as it allows them to “gain a more comprehensive and balanced understanding of each student’s behaviour and learning style in order to set practical goals that can set the stage for student engagement and a positive school climate.” Armed with this type of insight into student behaviour, teachers can use strength-based strategies and tools to facilitate positive character development.
Connecting youth living in contexts of risk with caring adult mentors has been shown to have a positive impact on their development: “Youth who can identify at least one supportive adult within their social networks have been shown to have better outcomes across a range of important academic, behavioral, and health domains.” To further prepare young people for transition into adulthood, mentoring initiatives should help them build their own networks of mentors. Known as Youth-Initiated Mentoring (YIM), this approach is showing promise.
Youth Development Today is a monthly newsletter focused on youth well-being and student success. Each issue features 5 to 10 current resources on youth development, and offers a healthy mix of academic research, practice-based insights, and grey literature.