This episode features a conversation with Lisa Harrison, associate professor of middle childhood education at the Patton School of Education at Ohio University. Lisa is a teacher of teachers, preparing professionals for middle school classrooms. She is also a researcher, with a core area of focus on young adolescent black girls, a somewhat under-addressed topic in the research literature. She has examined the influences of social context on their identity development, including common negative images of black girls compared to their white young adolescent girl peers, as well as the experiences they have in school, often affected by adult perceptions of them that are embedded in some fundamental inequities.
Lisa and Jason talk about her research that extends into the inequitable experiences young adolescent black girls have with school discipline policies; how the national dialog around race over the past several months has impacted the way she thinks about preparing her teachers-in-training, including the importance for them to engage young adolescents in racial dialog more routinely, rather than just around big moments; the latest update of the position paper from the Association for Middle Level Education, or AMLE, called the Successful Middle School, which Lisa co-authored, that outlines core attributes and characteristics for middle schools; and how educators, as well as parents and families and other caring adults in the community can use the book to improve the learning and development experience for young adolescents.
Additional Readings and Resources