Belonging and Becoming

Belonging and Becoming The Power of Social and Emotional Learning in High Schools

Barbara Cervone and Kathleen Cushman
cloth, 248 Pages
Pub. Date: September 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-852-8
Price: $62.00

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paper, 248 Pages
Pub. Date: September 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-851-1
Price: $31.00

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Pub. Date: September 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-853-5

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Despite growing attention to the importance of grit and other character traits for achievement, developing them in students rarely finds its way into secondary school curricula. Authors Barbara Cervone and Kathleen Cushman investigate the exceptions, telling the stories of five high schools with a national reputation for infusing rigorous academics with social and emotional learning, which results in demonstrable benefits for students.


Barbara Cervone and Kathleen Cushman have wonderfully captured the essentials needed for high schools to focus on both academic growth and healthy social development. Their work will lead to educating all high school students to be able to respond to the challenges and opportunities they routinely face through intentional efforts on academic, social, and emotional learning. — Paul Goren, superintendent, Evanston/Skokie District 65, Illinois, and former senior vice president, CASEL

In this engaging new book, Barbara Cervone and Kathleen Cushman capture five compelling cases, teaching us that thoughtful, purposeful integration of social and emotional learning combined with rigorous project-based learning results in high levels of academic achievement, strong attendance, low dropout rates, and a high percentage of students going to college. — Ellen Moir, founder and CEO, New Teacher Center

When educators ask me for practical advice about how to enhance the social, emotional, and academic development of high school students, I will urge them to read, discuss, and implement powerful strategies from this book. Belonging and Becoming is a game-changer that can improve the educational experiences, learning, and development of millions of high school students. — Roger P. Weissberg, chief knowledge officer, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

Key to the success of this text is the constructivist approach utilized in the research compiled for the book...The practical applications the authors present provide evidence of the continuing need for social and emotional learning at the secondary level. — H. B. Arnold, CHOICE Connect

The book provides educators with pertinent examples of ways to effectively and seamlessly incorporate components of social-emotional learning into their school curricula. — Rachel M. Undercoffer, Communique of the National Association of School Psychology

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About the Authors

Barbara Cervone, Ed.D. is founder and president of What Kids Can Do, Inc., an international nonprofit organization that promotes the value of young people tackling projects that combine powerful learning with public purpose. Previously, she coordinated Walter H. Annenberg’s $500 million “Challenge” to reform America’s schools—at the time the largest private initiative to reform public education in U.S. history—from its inception in January 1994 until June 2000.

Kathleen Cushman has documented the learning of adolescents in and out of school since 1989. A co-founder of What Kids Can Do, she gathered youth voices in WKCD’s books about school culture and climate (the Fires in the Bathroom series), student motivation and mastery (Fires in the Mind and The Motivation Equation), and college access (First in the Family). From 2011 to 2014 she documented the work of the Deeper Learning community of practice brought together by the Hewlett Foundation, and she contributes to the Learning Deeply blog for Education Week. Since 2014 she has consulted to the New Teacher Center’s initiative on social and emotional learning.

Table of Contents

E-book available through online booksellers

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