adult staff relationships

By Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Ph.D., Senior Scholar Q: What do Play-Doh, Bubble Wrap, Post-It Notes, and treadmills have in common? A: They were all created for one purpose and were found to be very useful for something very different.* Those four famous switch-ups are in a class of their own. However, they offer an analogy […]

Barbara Varenhorst

By Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Ph.D., Senior Scholar Many people have influenced Search Institute’s work across our 60-plus years. But aside from staff, the person with the greatest influence on our work across multiple decades has been Dr. Barbara B. Varenhorst, who died last week at age 92. To understand why, it helps to start with […]

advancing justice and equity

By Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Ph.D., Senior Scholar Diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI). Racial equity. Racial justice. Each term has its own emphasis and meaning. And together, along with many others, they point to a broad and deep current social challenge facing not only the United States, but the world. How do we treat one another and […]

communicating about developmental relationships

By Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Ph.D., Senior Scholar Saying relationships are important for a young person to learn and grow is like saying water is important for a swimming pool. A decade ago, one youth worker wrote something like (paraphrased slightly): “I’m still not sure whom the relational youth work fanatics think they are arguing against.” […]

By Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Ph.D., Senior Scholar Kurt Lewin (1890 – 1947)—a pioneer in social psychology, “action research,” and organizational development—is widely quoted as saying a two things (among many others): “There is nothing so practical as a good theory.” “If you want truly to understand something, try to change it.” 1 The intentional dialectical […]

restart with relationships

By Ashley Boat, Research Scientist, Search Institute After months of distance learning, many Minnesota students are transitioning back to in-person learning this month. These students are returning to the classroom with the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic resting heavily on their minds and well-being. The list of stressors is long: the loss of loved ones, […]

relationships in the faith community

By Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Ph.D, Senior Scholar, Search Institute I spent most of my childhood near Arusha, Tanzania, the launching point to visit many of the world’s great wildlife sanctuaries (many now threatened). In a matter of a few hours, we could visit half a dozen world-renowned parks such as Ngorongoro Crater, Amboseli National Park, […]

We need youth sports now more than ever

By Peter C. Scales, Ph.D. and Benjamin J. Houltberg, Ph.D., Search Institute We wrote a brief white paper recently about a new Search Institute initiative being planned about youth development through sports, specifically, about developmental relationships and sporting honor, and why youth sports needs more coaching around those themes. We wrote that white paper before […]

Joe Biden

By Kent Pekel, Ed.D., President and CEO, Search Institute Joe Biden didn’t speak about education very often during the presidential campaign of 2020 but, paradoxically, some of his best moments occurred when cameras captured him interacting with young people. Those moments included Mr. Biden’s exchanges with 13 year-old Brayden Harrington about overcoming stuttering, and the […]

Developmental relationships, social emotional learning, DEI

By Kent Pekel, Ed.D. Nearly a decade ago, an important meta-analysis showed that implementing high-quality social and emotional learning (SEL) programs in schools can lead to significant increases in students’ academic and behavioral outcomes (Durlak et al, 2011). Partly as a result of that study and others like it, thousands of schools and out-of-school time […]