Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 2014 Issue »

    The Challenge of Holistic Student Support

    Investigating Urban Adolescents’ Constructions of Support in the Context of School

    GRETCHEN BRION-MEISELS

    In this piece, Gretchen Brion-Meisels investigates how adolescents conceptualize support in the context of school. Student support systems have become a permanent structure in most U.S. public schools, responsible for ensuring equal access to support services. Unfortunately, little is known about how adolescents make meaning of school-based support. To answer this question, Brion-Meisels explores how urban adolescents in a northeastern city talk about support, paying close attention to the cultural narratives that underlie their conceptions. Analyzing text from survey, interview, and focus group data, she argues that adolescents in the sample both draw on and actively resist dominant societal discourses of support. Findings suggest that support providers would benefit from better understanding the cultural and contextual narratives underlying youth conceptions of support, as well as the individual perspectives of the youth that they serve. In addition, Brion-Meisels contends that adults must shift their own discourses of support if they want to create spaces in which young people feel empowered and safe to seek help.

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    Gretchen Brion-Meisels is a lecturer in the Prevention Science and Practice Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). Her research seeks to explore holistic student support processes that build on the local knowledge of students and communities. She is particularly interested in finding ways to incorporate students in the researching and reforming of school climate and support initiatives. In addition, her work explores the intersections of bullying and discrimination in prevention research and practice. Before arriving at HGSE, Brion-Meisels taught middle school humanities for eight years.

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    Fall 2014 Issue

    Abstracts

    Perceiving Learning Anew
    Social Interaction, Dignity, and Educational Rights
    MANUEL luis ESPINOZA AND SHIRIN VOSSOUGHI
    How Do You Say Twos in Spanish, If Two Is Dos?
    Language as Means and Object in a Bilingual Kindergarten Classroom
    NAOMI MULVIHILL
    Tacit Information Literacies in Beginning College Students
    Research Pedagogy in Geography
    NICHOLAS BAUCH AND CHRISTINA SHELDON
    Symposium
    Thinking and Learning
    The Challenge of Holistic Student Support
    Investigating Urban Adolescents’ Constructions of Support in the Context of School
    GRETCHEN BRION-MEISELS
    To Charter or Not to Charter
    What Questions Should We Ask, and What Will the Answers Tell Us?
    HARRY BRIGHOUSE AND GINA SCHOUTEN
    The Author Has the Last Word
    Buddy Editing in a First-Grade Classroom
    JESSIE L. AUGER

    Book Notes

    The Time Is Now
    Louie F. Rodríguez