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Research Questions

Overarching: To what extent and how do student-centered, progressive urban public high schools create educational environments that are both personally nurturing and academically challenging for low-income students of color?


1. What strategies do these schools use to promote student learning while avoiding practices associated with the criminalization of students (such as the use of exclusionary discipline or coercive control)?

2. What assumptions about education inform this approach and how do they manifest in school policies and practices?

3. What are the schools’ organizational routines and how do they shape student-teacher relations, disciplinary policies and practices, and academic expectations?

4. How do students, educators, and parents experience and understand these schools, especially their practices related to creating nurturing and academically rigorous environments?