Proposal Title

Improving Outcomes for At-Risk Youth Through Connection, Care, and Attachment: Rationale and Strategies for Holding On When Kids Want to Let Go

Presentation Type

Long (40 minute) synchronous

Streaming Media

Start Date

16-2-2021 1:50 PM

End Date

16-2-2021 2:30 PM

Proposal Abstract

My proposal is for a virtual presentation (approximately 20 minutes) with the opportunity for Q and A after. The abstract of the project is below. I have taught in inner-city schools and alternative education programs and have seen the great need for strategies to reconnect these students to school. Students leave mainstream high school systems for many reasons, but many of those who disconnect herald from a traumatic background and are engaged in high-risk behaviours. In this paper, I claim that fostering connection with at-risk youth provides many benefits both in and beyond K-12 education. The link between school connection, completion, and future life outcomes demonstrates that feeling connected to their teacher and school improved academic success and provides better opportunities to choose healthier prosocial behaviours and move out of poverty. As shown in the literature review, there is a correlation between school connectedness and engagement to academic achievement and reducing risky-behaviours and building resilience. This paper explores these topics and approaches through a lens of care-pedagogy, attachment theory, and trauma-informed practice. The application of this paper is to determine strategies that offer trauma-informed opportunities to connect and engage with these students while supporting their development of regulation and coping skills. Two sample programs provide possible avenues for connection-building. This work's implication informs how a positive school connection, when students feel safe and have the tools and support to feel sovereign over their education, holds promise for brighter futures for at-risk youth. The novel approach of interweaving care pedagogies, attachment theory and trauma-informed practice as frameworks to work from offer a holistic approach for practice is a distinct success of this paper—the practical implications of this paper center around how to promote connection within the classroom and school.

Statement

My project supports the theme of "teaching without walls" as it addresses the importance of maintaining connection, despite the disconnection and isolation COVID-19 has wrought. My presentation is built from the work I completed for my capstone paper and offers rationale and strategies for building connection into classrooms.

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Feb 16th, 1:50 PM Feb 16th, 2:30 PM

Improving Outcomes for At-Risk Youth Through Connection, Care, and Attachment: Rationale and Strategies for Holding On When Kids Want to Let Go

My proposal is for a virtual presentation (approximately 20 minutes) with the opportunity for Q and A after. The abstract of the project is below. I have taught in inner-city schools and alternative education programs and have seen the great need for strategies to reconnect these students to school. Students leave mainstream high school systems for many reasons, but many of those who disconnect herald from a traumatic background and are engaged in high-risk behaviours. In this paper, I claim that fostering connection with at-risk youth provides many benefits both in and beyond K-12 education. The link between school connection, completion, and future life outcomes demonstrates that feeling connected to their teacher and school improved academic success and provides better opportunities to choose healthier prosocial behaviours and move out of poverty. As shown in the literature review, there is a correlation between school connectedness and engagement to academic achievement and reducing risky-behaviours and building resilience. This paper explores these topics and approaches through a lens of care-pedagogy, attachment theory, and trauma-informed practice. The application of this paper is to determine strategies that offer trauma-informed opportunities to connect and engage with these students while supporting their development of regulation and coping skills. Two sample programs provide possible avenues for connection-building. This work's implication informs how a positive school connection, when students feel safe and have the tools and support to feel sovereign over their education, holds promise for brighter futures for at-risk youth. The novel approach of interweaving care pedagogies, attachment theory and trauma-informed practice as frameworks to work from offer a holistic approach for practice is a distinct success of this paper—the practical implications of this paper center around how to promote connection within the classroom and school.