Community Action Research Approach

Our research approach also allows us to focus on student success beyond test scores. You can read more about our approach below!


Process, not Programs

Our focus is on process: we are collaborative, inclusive, strengths-focused, and place a high value on ongoing cycles of reflection, feedback, and improvement.  We believe that even evidence-based approaches must be tailored to specific contexts.

Before you plant, you have to prune: Synergistic Coordination Improves Efficiency and Effectiveness

Our orientation is to coordinate, optimize, and create synergy among the parts that already exist. This reduces staff and student frustration and helps organize jumbled schoolhouses. 

Climate Counts and Must Be Assessed

We believe schools have an ethical obligation to systematically monitor their climate and use the data for planning, in a spirit of continuous improvement.

Liaison and Follow-Back Consultation Model

When we work intensively with individual schools and districts, we provide a personal liaison staff member from our team to clarify communication and support organizational infrastructure. We provide follow-back consultation after professional development services, workshops,  and conferences.

8 Week Planning Cycles

We work with an 8-week planning cycle process, to maximize sustainable progress.

Building the Field for New and Current Professionals

We are committed to building the field of social-emotional and character development, and so we place particular focus on training new professionals, collaborating with professional associations to improve the skills of existing professionals, and establishing a credentialing process for SECD work with students and improving school climate (see