Overviews of First Things First

Connell, J.P., Klem, A.M., Lacher, T., Leiderman, S., & Moore, W., with Deci, E., Institute for Research and Reform in Education

In “Theory, Research, and Practice” First Things First (FTF) is traced back to its roots in the rich tradition of research on human motivation. Three fundamental psychological needs – competence, autonomy and relatedness – are identified as the theoretical foundation for the early development of the FTF core strategies. After providing a review of the core strategies, the authors summarize the...

Connell, J.P. & Klem, A.M., Hampton Press

This chapter in the book “Time for Change: New Visions for High School” provides an extensive introduction to First Things First (FTF).   Beginning with the FTF theory of change and the seven critical features that informed FTF’s early development, ”What It Takes” includes detailed sample implementation activity timelines, descriptions of the supports provided for each FTF core strategy and a...

Institute for Research and Reform in Education, E.M. Kauffman Foundation

This white paper provides a basic introduction to the origins and foundational ideas behind First Things First (FTF).  The authors review the previous fifteen years of school reform in order to situate the early development of FTF in the broader research, policy, and practice context.  Starting with the argument that schools themselves should be the primary entry point for education reform,...

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