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YATST Spotlighted at International Education Conference

Written by Erin Dezell on .

 Helen Beattie Selected to Represent Vermont on Panel

Vermont’s effort to elevate student involvement in learning and school decision-making was featured at the recent American Education Research Association (AERA) annual meeting in Philadelphia. Dr. Helen Beattie of East Hardwick, Director of UP for Learning, co-presented on a panel entitled, The Roles of Student Voice, Participation and Youth-Adult Partnership in Promoting Student Development.

Dr. Helen Beattie co-founded Youth and Adults Transforming Schools Together (YATST) in 2008. YATST’s goal is to increase student engagement in learning and voice in decision making by creating a partnership between students, faculty and the community. They join together to increase relevance, relationships, rigor and shared responsibility in Vermont schools through an action research process. Beattie also founded Unleashing the Power of Partnership for Learning (UP for Learning) in 2012. 

“YATST was invited to the AERA conference because few other models exist in the country,” said Helen Beattie. “It’s exciting to be sought out, and to share this complex work with researchers and schools on an international platform. Our goal is to elevate student roles in learning and decision making.”

The American Education Research Association (AERA) is the nation’s premier conference on educational research. Dr. Beattie joined Dr. Dana Mitra and Catharine Biddle of Pennsylvania State University on a presentation panel, whose focus was youth voice. YATST was highlighted as an innovative program.

“Few models of youth-adult partnership exist in the United States,” said Catharine Biddle, Doctoral Candidate at Pennsylvania State University.  “YATST has one of the most sophisticated visions of this work.” 

Vermont is widely recognized as a leader in the movement toward student-centered learning, shifting a long-held paradigm of students as passive “recipients” of learning to active partners in the learning process.



The Evolving Story of Education & Learning: the Hazen YATST Team Presents at an OSSU Inservice (2)

Written by Erin Dezell on .

 On February 7th, a team of Hazen students and adults presented a workshop at the Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union inservice, with teachers and administrators present. Their session titled, The Evolving Story of Education and Learning, explored what we now know about the brain and how it is reshaping how we learn and teach.   


Communicating School Redesign Through the Youth-Adult Partnership Lens

Written by Erin Dezell on .


Communicating School Redesign April28 Banner copy



Registration begins at 8:30am

Join YATST/UP for Learning for this interactive seminar to learn more about the art and science of communications theory and practice as it relates to the current roll-out of Act 77.  Those who attend will go home with a powerful conceptual communications framework, tools and strategies, which have been field-tested in Vermont.

Four Vermont high school youth-adult teams will share their tools and dialogue strategies to introduce personalized learning plans, flexible pathways and proficiency-based learning that were developed in a year-long credit bearing class, Communicating School Redesign through the Youth-Adult Partnership Lens.   Jane Feinberg, nationally recognized communications expert and course co-instructor, will introduce communications framing basics. 

The full conference flyer, including registration link, can be found at here


Reflections on Bridges to Partnership: a Statewide Conference

Written by Erin Dezell on .

“The strategies and concepts I learned today will help set the foundation for a powerful change in my school”.  This was one student’s reflection at the close of the October 9 state-wide conference entitled, “Bridges to Partnership: Youth and Adults Learning New Skills to Redesign Schools.  Youth-adult teams from eight Vermont high schools joined a team representing five New York City high schools, a Lowell, Massachusetts high school alternative program, two faculty from Eagle Rock School in Estes Park, Colorado, and a number of Agency of Education staff  to explore simple yet powerful tools to elevate student voice in learning and educational change efforts. 


Bridges to Partnership: Youth and Adults Learning New Skills to Redesign Schools

Written by Helen Beattie on .

This fall state-wide conference bridges theory and practice to engage youth and educators as partners in high school redesign efforts.  It provides reasons, inspiration and tools for school communities to look at instruction through the lends of student motivation and to work with youth to improve it.  Youth-adult teams will leave with: