Centering Youth Voices: BMore Me Case Study
At a Glance
In 2019, Baltimore City Public Schools piloted an ambitious new social studies curriculum, BMore Me. Developed for grades 6-11, the curriculum is grounded in the idea that leaning into young people’s sense of who they are and where they’re from is key to their growth—within the classroom and beyond.
This case study, developed in partnership with Equitable Futures Initiative, a project of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, documents the first year of BMore Me through the eyes of the educators and students who lived it. The case study explores the dynamic intersection between BMore Me’s novel approach to centering young people’s agency in their learning and cutting-edge research that offers fresh insights into how young people—particularly Black and Latinx youth and young people from households with lower income—develop their occupational identity and navigate the pathways to fulfilling their future aspirations.
Young people’s own mindsets have an enormous influence in how they learn—and how they form their occupational identity, work, and life goals. An asset-based curriculum that invests in students’ sense of self can be game-changing, particularly for Black and Latinx youth and young people from households with lower income. BMore Me reinforces this insight: that young people’s conviction that they are change agents in their own lives can be amplified when their education centers their experience. From this foundation, they will be more readily positioned to build the knowledge, skills, and social capital they need to seize opportunities and write their own future narratives.
Believe in the curriculum and allow your students to teach you who they are.ERICA ROBBINS, 7TH GRADE TEACHER, NORTH BENDELEMENTARY/MIDDLE SCHOOL