EL Education is a network of 150 K-12 schools across the United States that seek to develop in students the “curiosity, skills, knowledge, and courage needed to imagine a better world and work toward realizing it.” A promising site in EL schools for the development of such civic character virtues is Crew. Crew is a daily meeting (also known as “advisory”) in which students gather with a small group of peers and a teacher to build supportive relationships and engage in honest and courageous conversations about issues that impact their lives. Crew is a common structure across EL Education schools, yet there is great variation in how different educators within EL schools lead their Crews.
Accordingly, our Project Team will engage educators across the EL Education network in yearlong Communities of Practice designed to provide them with opportunities to identify, strengthen, and refine promising practices for nurturing students’ civic character in Crew. Our Project Team will then identify the range of practices that participating educators implement in their Crews to nurture students’ civic character and investigate the role of these practices in shaping students’ civic character development over the 2022-23 school year.
Key findings from this project will guide our Project Team’s development of a multimedia toolkit designed to strengthen the capacity of educators in EL Education schools across the United States to utilize Crew as a site for nurturing the civic knowledge, skills, and virtues of the 45,000 youth they serve. Likewise, publications reporting on this project will offer useful resources for educators and school leaders across the United States interested in advisory as a site for youth civic character development and Communities of Practice as a tool for enhancing educators’ facilitation of such Crews.