Students taking action together: Social action in urban middle schools

Arielle C.V. Linsky, Danielle R. Hatchimonji, Claudia L. Kruzik, Samantha Kifer, Nina Franza, Kellie McClain, Samuel J. Nayman, Maurice Elias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Teaching character virtues and social–emotional skills in isolation of social–political context is incomplete at best. Further, racial and ethnic inequity in social action and political influence spans from youth to adults and must be addressed (Kahne & Middaugh, 2008b). Middle school is a crucial developmental time to cultivate students’ social–emotional and character competencies alongside their social actions promoting positive change (Jones & Kahn, 2017). This article describes how our social–emotional and character development curriculum, called Mastering Our Skills and Inspiring Character (MOSAIC), inspired students to improve their school, community, and world. The lessons required students to engage in the kind of active learning that the Association for Middle Level Education champions through its statement, This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents, by applying the skills they learn in the classroom to relevant social issues (National Middle School Association [NMSA], 2010). Our article brings this approach to life by illustrating its use in an under-resourced, highly stressed, urban school system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-14
Number of pages11
JournalMiddle School Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 8 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


  • character development
  • middle school development
  • social action
  • social justice education
  • social–emotional learning
  • urban schools


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