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Showing posts from March, 2018

How do program staff respond to culture-related incidents?

By Kate Walker

Program leaders regularly confront issues of culture and race in youth programs. I was part of a a research project that examined culture-related incidents and how leaders responded. Based on interviews with 50 leaders from 27 programs for middle and high school-aged teens, my colleagues identified four types of incidents and three ways that leaders responded. What they discovered has implications for our work toward equity.

How to get to the top of the youth voice ladder

By Karen Beranek

Many youth organizations boldly state “We listen to youth.”  But do they really?

Roger Hart’s Ladder of Participation work makes us think about the levels of youth voice that youth programs incorporate – from manipulation to tokenism and all the way up to sharing decisions equally.

How can we get to the top? Check out this resource. Along with some great activities to empower youth and adults to set the stage for youth voice, they outline some concepts for supporting it.

Applying engineering design to dog training

By Margo Bowerman

I've been doing a new type of training with my dog, Orri. Technically, the training activities help with impulse control (you’ll see it called ItsYerChoice or Doggie Zen), but I see it as a problem-solving activity.

Problem-solving activities for dogs allow them to make choices without feedback from the trainer until they make the right choice. Orri is pretty smart, so I was disappointed that as we progressed to more complicated tasks, he couldn’t figure it out. In fact, he stopped trying. As I reflected on that, it reminded me of my work with youth in the 4-H engineering design program. I wondered what I had learned from teaching problem-solving skills to youth that I could use with Orri. In other words, what are the critical elements necessary to teach problem solving?