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Academic Youth Development

Research-based programs to reshape academic identities, enhance engagement, transform achievement.

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AYD is

Shaping academic identities

AYD is

Changing the culture of learning

AYD is

Transforming achievement

Change the Culture of Learning

Students' perceptions of themselves as learners can limit their potential.

When students believe in their ability to learn, and when they are armed with effective problem-solving strategies, they work harder, persist longer, and achieve at higher levels. When educators believe in students’ ability to learn, they engage their students in more rigorous tasks and challenge them to demonstrate their understanding in multiple ways.

Academic Youth Development—created by the Dana Center in collaboration with Agile Mind, Inc., and leading psychologists—translates the latest research on student motivation, learning, and persistence into practical strategies and tools that can be enacted by teachers and students every day, in every classroom.

Transforming Classroom Culture

Hear from an Agile Mind teacher and her students as they describe the impact of Academic Youth Development on mindsets, effective effort, and classroom culture

AYD Family of Programs

Academic Youth Development is a research-based family of programs designed to help students reshape their academic identities, enhance their engagement in learning, and transform their achievement.

Targeting the specific needs of different audiences, the programs in the AYD family share common foundations in the latest research on student motivation, engagement, and learning.

Academic Youth Development Programs

  • Summer-Start AYD

    Summer-Start AYD, for students and teachers who are preparing for Algebra I in the fall, introduces key ideas and self-management strategies while creating new “learning mindsets” that contribute to building a positive learning environment for themselves and their peers.

    Students engage in challenging problem-solving activities known to be associated with success in algebra and higher-level mathematics. Program activities directly align with standards for college readiness and foundational mathematics standards, and the knowledge and skills students gain in the summer are reinforced, strengthened, and shared with peers during the academic year.

  • School-Year AYD

    School-Year AYD, for students in grades 8–10 and their teachers, is taught during advisory, homeroom, and after-school programs. With rich protocols for teachers to use, the curriculum teaches students self-management strategies to take control of their learning and to persist in the face of challenging schoolwork.

    Students are guided through collaborative problem-solving activities and opportunities for reflection that teach them key concepts from the psychology of learning and help them build trust, teamwork, and collective responsibility. As a result, students become more knowledgeable about their learning and capable of effectively directing their effort.

  • An Educator’s Course in AYD

    An Educator’s Course in Academic Youth Development is for faculty teams in schools and districts interested in learning how to apply the powerful emerging research and strategies on “learning mindsets” to their practice as educators.

    It includes a one-day, face-to-face seminar focused on key research about how adults can shape student learning and achievement. There is also subsequent independent study of the research, coupled with participation in a facilitated online learning community.

Students walking together

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