Search Institute has received a grant from the Spencer Foundation to study the role of student-teacher developmental relationships in promoting academic achievement and reducing educational inequity.

This study will investigate whether levels of motivation and perseverance—and changes in them over time—ease achievement inequities for low-income students and students of color who, demographically, are at the greatest risk of not pursuing post-secondary studies.

“We are pleased to be supporting this research studying the development of perseverance in students,” said John Q. Easton, the Spencer Foundation’s Vice President for Programs. “We think that it will contribute to general knowledge about this topic and be of special interest to the partnering school district.”

Search Institute was awarded this grant as part of the Spencer Foundation’s Small Research Grants program intended to support field-initiated research aimed at improving education. This two-year longitudinal study is a partnership between Search Institute and the Bloomington Public School District in Bloomington, Minnesota. Study findings will support the district in strengthening its already aggressive commitment to equity and college and career pathways.

Drawing on survey data, as well as credit-earning, test score, and GPA data, the study will generate implications for how schools might improve student motivation and post-secondary enrollment, particularly for low-income students and students of color, through the cost-effective means of strengthening students’ developmental relationships with teachers.

Learn more about our developmental relationships research >>

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