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    Michael Brody
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    34 Ways to Quiet a Rambunctious Class

    34 Ways to Quiet a Rambunctious Class

    From “Silent 20” to imaginary marshmallows, these teacher-tested strategies for all grade levels can help you snap an unruly classroom back to …

  • Leonard: Interesting. And you led a pretty simple “social belonging” intervention study in which first-year college students read reflections from juniors and seniors about how they had also struggled with belonging uncertainty. What did you find?

    Cohen: The stories that we shared with the first-year students conveyed two messages. One was: If you’re feeling like you don’t belong here in your first semester or two of college, that’s normal. Everybody feels that way. The second was: It gets better. By putting yourself out there—by knocking on a professor’s door or joining a study group—things improve. And we accompanied those stories with real statistics from a group of seniors that conveyed the same messages.

    The intervention is pretty dramatic in its effects. In the original study, it closed the GPA achievement gap between Black students and White students by 50 percent. Seven years later, the Black participants reported greater career satisfaction. This was in spite of the fact that it was only roughly an hour in length.

    This intervention has since been tested in middle school—and it’s pretty powerful there, too. It can reduce stress, boost academic success, and lower absenteeism. And we find effects on disciplinary behavior—that the kids who get this intervention are much less likely to get in trouble in school.

    Avatar - Michael Brody
    The Science of Belonging and Connection

    The Science of Belonging and Connection

    Feeling like you belong in school is critical to academic success—and there are research-backed strategies that educators can deploy, says Stanford …