Getting to “Y” Getting to “Y” (GTY) – Youth (GTY) – Youth Taking the Lead as Change Taking the Lead...
UP for Learning helps educational institutions across the country fully engage students in their own learning and in school redesign. We utilize research-based models that reshape the student-teacher relationship to one of shared ownership and shared responsibility. UP offers strategies, tools, and ongoing coaching to ensure that learning is engaging for everyone and youth are fully empowered.
- Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together
- Getting to Y
- Mindset, Metacognition & Motivation
- Communicating School Redesign
- Restorative Practices
- National Youth-Adult Partnership Advocacy
YOUTH AND ADULTS TRANSFORMING SCHOOLS TOGETHER fosters engagement in learning by increasing rigor, relevance, relationships, and shared responsibility (4Rs). Based on the 4Rs framework, student and teacher teams use Action Research to understand issues that impact learning from multiple perspectives and then become agents of change.
GETTING TO ‘Y’ is an opportunity for students to take a lead in bringing meaning to their own Youth Risk Behavior Survey data. They identify strengths and concerns, host a community dialogue event to solicit adult perspectives, and identify a priority action as the focus of their subsequent change efforts.
MINDSET, METACOGNITION & MOTIVATION supports youth as peer-to-peer messengers who share the latest research on growth mindsets, metacognition (how the brain learns) and motivation. Concurrently, faculty align their classroom practices accordingly and become teacher leaders to establish “fluency in the language of learning” school-wide.
COMMUNICATING SCHOOL REDESIGN engages youth-adult teams as a school’s communications hub to build public understanding and support for educational redesign. CSR employs an evidence-based communications approach called strategic framing and is built on an action research model. The teams construct campaigns to effectively engage all sectors of the community in dialogue about why schools are changing.
RESTORATIVE PRACTICES are a positive, disruptive force to realizing greater equity in education and stronger relationships. When implemented holistically, Restorative Practices help develop a culture where everyone’s voice is heard and valued and relationships become the cornerstone of the community. Instead of top-down punitive practices that further erode relationships, Restorative Practices put the emphasis on relationships, collaborative problem solving and collective responsibility.
NATIONAL YOUTH-ADULT PARTNERSHIP ADVOCACY is a growing focus of the work of UP for Learning. We engage in policy advocacy, host conferences, participate in national school change organizations, offer keynotes and workshops, serve as a research learning laboratory, and pursue publication opportunities.
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What Our Participants Are Saying
Learning together really helps tighten the bond between the youth and adults. I find that I am more empowered to let my voice be heard and to want the feedback from my fellow classmates — more so in this class than any I have ever had before.
Hazen Union student
We talked about students needing to first have ownership before they are ready to learn, then we moved into a discussion of what we could do as teachers to give students more of a voice. We agreed that just having this discussion and raising awareness is a huge step in getting us started.
Teacher reflection after student-led faculty meeting
In a way, [youth] need to be mentoring us as much as we’re mentoring them. They’re coming from a different place; they were born in the late ’90s, and they have an important perspective. I like that idea about reverse mentorships.
Adult CSR Team Member
“Few models of youth-adult partnership exist in the United states and of these, YATST has one of the most sophisticated visions of this work….The forms of technical assistance provided by YATST staff are highly sophisticated and a model nationally and beyond for how to provide support to a youth-adult partnership process. . . . Each component of the YATST vision and process is based on best practices from research and other successful reform efforts. The careful crafting of this program based on evidence-based practice provides a solid foundation on which schools grow.” -Dr. Dana Mitra Pennsylvania State University 2012 Evaluation
I am excited to think about my future career trajectory with the notion of student voice in mind- to think about how I can intentionally infuse the lessons learned and perspective gained into my future work.
2017 International Seminar
I will be taking away a greater understanding of innovative education around the country, and ideas about how to bring it back to a public school setting
2018 International Seminar
The most exciting aspect of this work for me is to see students emerge as leaders who take an active role in improving the culture of their school and the mindsets of their classmates… Seeing students feeling powerful and in charge of their learning for the first time was a wonderful experience for me.
I think the biggest thing that we’re getting out of this is awareness of what’s going on in our school community and what kids are not talking about and how we can work with that and stuff to make great changes
GTY Sophomore Student
Getting to Y is an essential approach to our MCH-Title V work in Vermont. By looking at their own data, Students are engaged and able to demonstrate to the community what matters to them which, in turn, helps communities to value their youth.
UP for Learning’s Getting to Y Program stands as a promising model of excellence in providing transformative opportunities for middle school students and teachers to engage with asset-based thinking and to work together to create increased opportunities for dialogue on issue of risk and resilience in the school and in the wider community.