Structures for Belonging: A Synthesis of Research on Belonging-Supportive Learning Environments
Kaleen Healey & Chloe Stroman; Student Experience Research Network
Student Experience Research Network (SERN) developed a research synthesis that is intended to illuminate structural factors related to belonging. The synthesis discusses both K-12 and postsecondary educational contexts, and includes research from diverse academic disciplines including social psychology, cultural psychology, sociology, adolescent development, neuroscience, economics, and education.
It discusses structural factors related to belonging in four overlapping categories: (1) access to learning environments; (2) relationships with educators, peers, and families; (3) instructional resources and pedagogy; and (4) system-level policies and practices.
Throughout, it identifies implications for system- and institution-level decision-makers in the education sector, who play a role in shaping students’ experiences of belonging just as much as classroom educators and peers do.