American Institutes for Research Experts Featured in New Book on Creating Safe, Engaging and Equitable Schools

Washington, D.C. - A new book, edited and authored by experts from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and their colleagues, presents comprehensive strategies and tools to help create strong conditions for learning in schools that can lead to excellent and equitable student outcomes.   

Creating Safe, Equitable, Engaging Schools: A Comprehensive, Evidence-Based Approach to Supporting Students builds upon the best knowledge on the science of learning and development and aligns it with the collective wisdom of leading education researchers and practitioners. The book seeks to help educators and school leaders make sense of the myriad evidence-based frameworks, resources, and tools that are available.

The book was edited by AIR Managing Director Deborah Moroney, AIR Vice President Sandra Williamson, and AIR Vice President and Institute Fellow David Osher, who also authored or co-authored each chapter. There are 35 researchers and practitioners who authored or co-authored chapters in the book, including 30 from AIR.

The authors write that fostering safe, engaging and equitable school environments that facilitate robust learning for every student requires the active participation of the entire school community, including educators, school leadership, policy makers, parents and guardians, and students.

“We have reviewed research on the science of learning and development and on successful practices from every state regarding how to create conditions that help students grow, learn, and thrive,” Dr. Osher said. “As the national conversations about equity, learning, and school safety continue, we designed this book to help those in the field better understand the evidence about what works and provided clear recommendations for putting this evidence into action.”     

The book uses a multipronged approach to help educators and leaders—

  • Build the readiness and capacity of their staff to lead and implement their work with passion, enthusiasm and efficiency;
  • Select and implement strategies and interventions that can work in their particular settings to support equity with excellence
  • Mobilize the strengths of all school stakeholders;
  • Implement strong foundational supports and personalized interventions that address diverse student and educator needs; and
  • Monitor implementation efforts using improvement science strategies.

Creating Safe, Equitable, Engaging Schools: A Comprehensive, Evidence-Based Approach to Supporting Students is available from Harvard Education Press and other online booksellers. Explore additional information and resources on this topic on AIR’s website.

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of education, health and the workforce. For more information, visit