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ddm2

  • Posted The next generation of youth data: Will we consult young people this time around? to Youth Development Insight
    We seem to be at a time of renewed interest in creating shared data across youth programs. For example, we recently hosted Dr. Roger Weissberg on the importance of social and emotional outcomes for youth and featured many blog posts this fall on the topic. But if you have been in the field long enough, you have seen this before. At one point, there was on emphasis on participation and counting --- where it seemed an onerous task to sort out who showed up and who stayed. I remember those days fondly now....
  • Posted Is there a "secret war" on after school at the federal level? to Youth Development Insight
    I listened with interest during the recent National League of Cities webinar about the federal financing proposals to revise use of the 21st Century funds. During the webinar, the Afterschool Alliance and state representatives from after-school networks, including homegrown City of St. Paul Sprockets leaders, held a discussion on the revision of the current 21st Century funds policy and how these changes could affect after school programs here in our community. My recap of the proposed policy: "How do we open as many doors as possible for schools to access the funds currently designated for after school programs?" My conclusion...
  • Posted What is the common core of youth programs? to Youth Development Insight
    Should youth programs focus on academics? If so, how much? This ongoing debate has a new twist, with the emerging Common Core State Standards, now adopted by 46 states. The Common Core sets standards for what students in K-12 should master in math and English language arts to be college- and career-ready, and are expected to be implemented in 2014-15 in each state. In a recent Forum for Youth Investment article, Devaney and Yohalem explain that the standards "emphasize higher-order thinking skills, that is, they focus more on demonstrating understanding of content and analyzing written materials rather than memorizing specific...
  • Posted Keeping program assessment "local" reaps benefits to Youth Development Insight
    Want to keep a youth workers in your organization? Try involving them in observational assessment! The recent release of the national YPQI study on improving youth program quality found one unexpected benefit to the process of observational assessment and planning process -- it increases staff retention. While it may seem hard to connect these dots, the finding does not surprise staff and consultants here at the Youth Work Institute who are working with youth organizations and staff throughout Minnesota to improve program quality....
  • Posted Occupy youth programs to Youth Development Insight
    From Occupy Wall Street to government and campus protests, to overthrowing leaders -- there is definitely something happening with youth today. I remember sitting in a class last winter watching a live link to the protests in Egypt and feeling like the world had shifted. So much has happened in such a short time, and youth are playing an important role in it. What does that have to do with youth programs? Perhaps everything. This statement by Shannon Service in YES! magazine sums it up for me "After three decades of dormancy, youth activism is again flowering. But today's flower...
  • Posted The dangers of praise -- how not to do a "good job!" to Youth Development Insight
    What's wrong with praising youth? Actually, there's quite a bit wrong with it. Countless research in the past 30 years shows overwhelming evidence that praising youth can harm their development. For example, in 1998, Mueller & Dweck wrote that praising intelligence can undermine their motivation and performance. While it may seem counter-intuitive and even downright unfriendly, the research is clear. Praise leads to unhealthy attitudes and behaviors in youth. When we praise young people, it gives them the message that we -- adults -- are the judge of what comprises a good job. It does not allow youth to explore...
  • Posted Putting the youth programs "if" to bed to Youth Development Insight
    If every grant writer, article author and researcher could commit to one simple action that would create a new perception about youth programs in our field, perhaps it would be to put the "if" to bed. By "if" of course, I mean the question of whether or not youth programs make a difference in the lives of young people. Today I firmly and proudly declare that they do and that I am done stating why I know this to be true. I hope this declarative choice of language will spread across our youth development conversations like the tea party in...
  • Posted Putting "If" To Bed to Putting "If" To Bed.
    If every grant writer, article author and researcher could commit to one simple action that would create a new perception about youth programs in our field, perhaps it would be to put the "if" to bed. By "if" of course,...
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