This episode features a conversation with Jennifer McCombs and Nancy Deutsch. Jennifer is a Senior Policy Researcher and Director of the Behavioral and Policy Sciences Department for the RAND Corporation, one of the world’s leading research institutes. She has been one of the main authors of several works building the knowledge base on summer learning, including a series funded by the Wallace Foundation. Nancy is a professor of education at the University of Virginia and Director of UVA’s Youth-Nex Center to Promote Effective Youth Development, a founding partner in the Remaking Middle School Initiative. Nancy’s research expertise is around adolescent development, particularly in out-of-school-time spaces.
Jennifer, Nancy and Jason talk about the reasons to study summer learning and what we want to learn from the research, specifically for young adolescents and their identity development; understanding the elements of structural inequities in summer learning and how that effects young adolescents; the best practices from research around the practical issues of implementing summer programs effectively; the reframing of summer learning from a time to make up gaps in learning to instead best capture the combination of academics and enrichment in a way that motivates and engages young adolescents, and the research interests for this upcoming summer and the next few summers to understand the potential of summertime to support the whole child, academically, socially and emotionally, psychologically, and otherwise.
Additional Readings and Resources: