We know, from years of research, that gaining insight into middle and high school students’ social-emotional skills is essential for motivating them to become self-propelled young adults. So we have broken these social-emotional skills into five simple areas: 1. Relationships: The single most powerful thing that educators can do to increase motivation is to build close connections […]

  Student motivation is a huge challenge. We know from our research that 69% of teachers say that student motivation is an issue in their classroom. We also know that intrinsic motivation declines continuously from kindergarten through high school. Motivation decreases in the jump from elementary to middle school and from middle to high school. […]

Most of us have a memory of a class in high school we just weren’t good at. For many it was math or english. For some it was art. Either way, the results were the same–belief that we’re not good at that subject, that we just didn’t have what it takes to get through it. […]

“It’s a collaborative thing. It’s a two-way street: you grow with each other as a leader. Maybe one has more experience than the other, but it’s about sharing that and to ultimately grow together.” — Shinnyo-en Focus Group Participant Search Institute’s Approach Search Institute’s partnership with Shinnyo-en Foundation exemplifies how we seek to bridge between […]

Youth facing organizations have long recognized that prioritizing relationships are essential components of work that produces valuable outcomes for youth. But at Search Institute, we have found that although many youth facing organizations believe that they are making relationships a priority, in actuality many organizations make them a lower priority than such things as curricula […]

The “relationship gap”. That phrase likely doesn’t mean much to you. But in our research, the relationship gap gets in the way of many youths becoming thriving adults. We are seeking to understand what’s inside the “black box” of thriving relationships with our research on developmental relationships so we can improve the relationship gap in the […]

We believe that building developmental relationships with young people is the single most influential thing adults can do to help them succeed. We know from our research that there’s a strong correlation between kids having strong developmental relationships in their lives and their likelihood to become thriving and contributing adults. But we also know that […]

Much of Search Institute’s past research on relationships has shown their value in the lives of youth, and how kids experience better outcomes when these relationships are strong. Our research is now shifting to how we can help families, organizations and communities that work with kids build these relationships. Search Institute recently interviewed 55 leaders […]

With summer here, many kids are participating in camps, summer programs, and other activities. These spaces are great places for young people to build new friendships with peers and strong developmental relationships with adults. For the past several years, Search Institute has been partnering with the Student Conservation Association (SCA). SCA is a nonprofit organization […]

The findings of Search Institute’s Don’t Forget the Families Study make the case for re-examining assumptions about family engagement, the family’s roles in young people’s lives, and the fundamental ways schools, organizations, and systems should relate to parenting adults. The implications of this study require six shifts in how schools, youth programs, and coalitions think […]