Learners feel and demonstrate that they are part of a community with shared values and beliefs, as well as appreciation for each individual’s unique ideas, perspectives, and backgrounds.


theatre masks happy and sad

Recognize emotions in others and take on their perspectives

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Identify when an adult or peer is frustrated or excited based on body language and facial expressions

  • Apologize when they have hurt someone

  • Comfort a friend who is crying and sad

Questions to Ask Learners

  • What feedback do you receive from your peers about your actions?

  • What feedback have you offered recently?

  • How do know when a friend needs some help? What kinds of things might you do?

three human figures above a hand holding them

Engage in prosocial or altruistic behavior

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Go out of their way to help a person in distress

  • Develop a community service project

  • Intervene to counteract any discrimination or bullying

Questions to Ask Learners

  • What makes you different than your classmates?

  • In what ways do those differences impact you in this class?

  • What beliefs/values are shared by everybody in this class?

  • How do learners in this class take care of each other?

  • Can you describe a time when a learner in your class did something to make the whole class feel really good?

  • Do you like to do those things? Why or why not?

hands surrounding a group of people

Build positive relationships with peers and adults with low levels of conflict

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Express feelings and resolve conflict through direct communication

  • Encourage another child who is being bullied or intervening

  • Show trust for others

  • Does not become easily angry at perceived slights

Questions to Ask Learners

  • What is it like to work with your peers in this class?

  • How often does this happen?

  • Do you feel comfortable disagreeing with a classmate? How do you do this in a way that doesn’t hurt a classmate’s feelings?

student personal desk

Engage frequently and positively in a classroom environment

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Support a new learner

  • Offer to help a struggling learner with their homework

Questions to Ask Learners

  • What does it look like when this collaboration is successful? What does it look when it isn’t?

  • How do learners support each other in this classroom? Is this something you like to do? Why or why not?

  • Is it important to your learning facilitator that students help each other?


Demonstrate sustained passion and commitment to a certain goal

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Choose to learn about something because of a larger cause (e.g., complete a research project on multiple sclerosis, expressing that their interest comes from a family member's recent diagnosis)

Questions to Ask Learners

  • Why are you doing the work that you are doing today?

  • How does it relate to an interest you have?

textbook pencil and globe

Articulate an interest and the “why” behind the interest

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Commit to an academic project or personal goal

  • Share the goal and its progress, as well as its underlying reasons, with peers and adults

Questions to Ask Learners

  • What motivates you to complete projects?


Belonging to a group is a psychological need for learners. This sense of belonging can influence the levels of engagement that learners have to complete tasks. Simply put, the more connected a learner feels to the people and place, the more investment they’ll have in learning and positively contributing to the group.


In creating shared experiences for learners that increase their connection with each other, their school, and the learning facilitator, learners are able to invest more attention and engagement in their learning.

Educator Actions

Learning facilitators build a sense of community and equity among learners.

CSTPs: 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.

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Build belonging through intentional experiences with learners, including class circles and meetings, restorative circles, and celebrations. These structures help build community and positive relationships, and they help learners recognize and respond to the emotions of their peers and class.


  • Ensure avenues for learners to seek support, share ideas with others, and respond freely to one another (P/F)

  • Provide opportunities for learners to experience success or showcase strengths (P/F)

  • Develop formal and/or informal opportunities for learners to be seen as individuals with unique perspectives and backgrounds (P/F)

  • Develop formal and/or informal opportunities for learners to understand and empathize with perspectives and backgrounds of others around them, particularly when perspectives differ (P/F)

  • Facilitate predictable routines and traditions that create a familiar and consistent classrooms (P/F)

  • Encourage learners to be themselves in language, dress, and social interactions (P/F)

  • Celebrate personal heritage as well as the traditions of others (P/F)

  • Take corrective action when learner words or actions harm another member of the community (F)

P = planned F = facilitated spontaneously