We often see circle images similar to one depicted on the right to describe the difference between exclusion, segregation, integration and inclusion. Recently, we have started to see additions to these images suggesting that there is still more to think about to achieve authentic inclusion. Often the next image is related to the idea of acknowledging the uniqueness of every student and focusing on flexibility in instruction to ensure that we are teaching to diversity. Erik Carter proposes another thought in representing the next image as "belonging". In this image he reflects the idea that when belongs their relationships extend beyond the single physical space they are in and branch out into other areas and times in life.
When we look at what constitutes a "successfully life" we can see that both well-being and resources for achieving that life originate in the social circumstance in which people develop. For many decades the focus of K-12 education has been on knowing the what of academic content and skills. Meanwhile, much of the who of supportive relationships, resources, and networks has been the domain of outside-of-school experiences like clubs, community activities, and summer pursuits like camp, volunteer projects, or paid work.
In 5 Essentials of Building Social Capital this social capital ecosystem is depicted as a tree.
Especially in an era of complexity and constant change, social capital is a key differentiator for success in education and career, as well as for personal satisfaction and wellbeing. A challenge for educators is to create new structures and experiences that will empower young people to build and expand their own social capital.
Developmental Relationships help students “discover who they are; develop abilities to shape their own lives; and learn how to engage with and contribute to the world around them.”