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We focus on the inclusion of socially vulnerable early adolescents including students with special education needs (SEN). Building from multiple intervention and randomized control trials of a professional development model aimed at supporting teachers' management of the classroom social context, we provide an overview of the Behavioral, Academic, and Social Engagement (BASE) Model as a framework to foster social inclusion. We briefly review the conceptual foundations of this model and we present the delivery (i.e., directed consultation, the scouting report process) and content (i.e., Academic Engagement Enhancement, Competence Enhancement Behavior Management, Social Dynamics Management) components of BASE. We then briefly discuss the intervention support needs of subtypes of socially vulnerable youth and how these needs can be differentially addressed within the BASE framework.

Many students are concerned about social difficulties during the late elementary and middle school years (Graham et al., 2006; Rice et al., 2011). This is particularly true for early adolescents with special education needs (SEN) who are at increased risk for peer rejection, social isolation, and involvement in peer victimization (Frederickson and Furnham, 2004; Estell et al., 2009a; Sullivan et al., 2015). The Behavioral, Academic, and Social Engagement (BASE) Model was developed as a holistic, ecological classroom management approach that teachers can use to support socially vulnerable youth during the transition to middle school. Our goal is to describe the application of the BASE model for supporting the inclusion of distinct subtypes of students with SEN during the late childhood and early adolescent school years.

We address five aims. We begin with an overview of the social inclusion of students with SEN. Then, we build upon a person-in context dynamic systems perspective to describe the theoretical foundations of the BASE model. Next, we summarize the intervention components and practice elements of the BASE model and their linkages to key social development process variables typically experienced by early adolescents. Building on research using latent profile analysis of interpersonal competence, we discuss three distinct configurations or subtypes of socially vulnerable youth: popular aggressive; passive; and low-adaptive (i.e., multi-risk). Finally, using these configurations and associated adjustment factors as a guide, we illustrate how teachers can use the BASE model to adapt strategies and supports for each subtype. We focus on how teachers need to be attuned not only to the differential needs of sub-types of youth, but to also be aware that their management of the classroom experience of students characterized by different configurations may contribute to how subtypes of students are perceived by their classmates and their corresponding relationships and social roles in the peer ecology.

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© 2021 Farmer, Sterrett, Norwalk, Chen, Dawes, Hamm, Lee and Farmer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

APA Citation

Farmer, T. W., Sterrett, B. I., Norwalk, K. E., Chen, C.-C., Dawes, M., Hamm, J. V., Lee, D. L., & Farmer, A. G. (2021). Supporting the Inclusion of Socially Vulnerable Early Adolescents: Theory and Illustrations of the BASE Model. Frontiers in Education, 5.

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