There's a radical - and wonderful - new idea here . . . that all children could and should be inventors of their own theories, critics of other people's ideas, analyzers of evidence, and makers of their own personal marks on the world." - Deborah Meier, Educator





First In The Family

Fires In The Mind

How Youth Learn

Social-Emotional Learning

Next Generation Press

Center for Youth Voice

In Our Village

Life in New China


Advice for Parents

Student/Youth Voice

College Matters

Global Youth Voices

Just Listen!

Mentors That Matter

Service Learning

Students as Allies in School Reform

Student Research for Action

Voices from the Middle Grades

Youth in Policy: Civics2

Youth on the Trail 2012


A Guide to Creating Teen-Adult Public Forums

Cultural Conversations through Creative Writing

Documenting Immigration Stories

First Ask, Then Listen: How Your Students Can Help You Teach Them Better

Making Writing Essential to Teen Lives

Profiles of Politically Active Youth

Queer Youth Advice for Educators

SAT Bronx

The Schools We Need: Creating Small High Schools That Work for Us



Growth Mindset and
Why It Matters

Five Videos for Teachers and Students on
Character, "Grit," and
Student Success

Powerful Learning: Four Inspirational Teachers Share Their Stories

Tricks: Discussion
Starters for Students 
About Pushing Past Fear

Favorite Einstein

















Short Workouts for Social-Emotional Learning

by WKCD| MARCH 2016


In December 2015, WKCD introduced a new, monthly feature called Short Workouts for Social-Emotional Learning, geared towards middle and high school students. Each "collection" includes ten workouts, and each workout takes 10-15 minutes, making them a suitable bell ringer, warm up, or advisory activity. We’ve created four categories: quotations, questions, video clips, and photographs.

There is no formula for using these workouts with students (just as there are no right or wrong answers). Mix them up and sprinkle them into your ongoing work, knowing that your students will embrace the chance to flex their social-emotional muscles.

Below are our workouts for March 2016. February 2016 Workouts | January 2016 Workouts | December 2015 Workouts

March 2016


This month we've picked a few Chinese proverbs as food for thought. Ask students to write down, on their own: (1) what they think the proverb means, and (2) how it applies in their own life. Then ask for volunteers to share their thoughts with the whole group/class.

  • "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember. I do and I understand."
  • "One can easily judge the character of a person by the way they treat people who can do nothing for them."
  • " I dreamed a thousand new paths. I woke and walked my old one."


Pick a question. Ask students to discuss their answers in a small group--and to appoint a representative who will share their responses with the whole class.

  • What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? What made it hard?
  • What’s the nicest thing you’ve ever done? What happened afterward?
  • What’s your proudest moment? What changed as a result?


In these short video clips, part of WKCD's Just Listen series, students talk about what they are learning about themselves and what keeps them motivated. Pick a clip to watch with your students. (You will need a way to show it full screen.) Use these suggested prompts to stimulate discussion, either in small groups or as a whole class.

Arielle, 16 | Brainstorming My Senior Project [1:10]
Have you ever gotten so involved in something that
you completely lost track of time? What was it like?

Raushan, 17 | Discovering Documentary [1:35]
How—and where—do you express yourself best? If
you aren't sure, what would help you figure this out?

Amanda, 18 | Internships and Hands-On Learning [1:25]
What's been your experience with hands-on

learning—inside or outside school?

Kenneth, 16 | Being Something, Doing Something [0:45]
What are you known for now? What do you hope you are known for 10 years from now?


These photos come from WKCD's collection of more than 10,000 photographs taken by youth worldwide. Accompanying each photo is the caption provided by youth photographer (or in some cases WKCD), along with our discussion prompt. Click on the picture for an enlarged version.

photo by Erica Lipoff, 16, Philadelphia, PA
"Hope for a Brighter Future"

“Batima is six years old and lives in the remote village of Bokoro, in Mali, Africa. I lived in Bokoro for two weeks this past April, building a school and living with Batima’s family. Each day as we worked in the hot sun, building, Batima did too. This picture was taken the night before we were leaving the village, the children enthusiastic about their soon-to-be completed school. Their school will be much larger, and a teacher will be provided by the government of Mali. Without an education, Batima would be expected to marry outside her village when she turns 15.”

What do you think the future holds for Batima? Why?

photo by youth at the Resource Center for Roma Communities, Cluj Napoca, Romania
"From Father to Son?"

“These two young boys live in a traditional Roma village in Transylvania, Romania. In Romania (and many other parts of the world) they are called gypsies. They are subjected to a lot of prejudice. People say they are thieves and ignorant. They are discriminated against in school. Among the Roma, professions are often passed down from one generation to the next: tinsmith, horse trader, musician, carpenter. The fathers of these boys are broom makers.“

What do you think the future holds for these two Roma boys? Why?