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Showing posts from January, 2019

The tension that sparks youth program innovation

By Rebecca Meyer

Entrepreneur Seth Godin describes innovation as a process akin to natural selection. He says that what sparks innovation is sharing ideas and making surprising connections with new and different people. His podcast on the subject got me thinking about the work we do in youth development and Extension.

In 4-H, we design and implement programs that encourage young people to build the skills they need for a lifetime. We foster learning experiences for them to learn and lead, with the support of caring adults. Our tagline is “Minnesota 4-H grows true leaders.”

Many youth programs are tackling problems and complex challenges through innovation in program design. Innovative ideas are born through sharing and connecting. Research suggests that innovative teams have ways of sparking these ideas, recognizing the great ones, and growing them into effective programs.

I'm interested in understanding the process of program innovation. I'm working with two colleagues on it. …

How to be more inclusive with LGBTQ youth

By Joseph Rand

Want to ensure youth are learning? Start with safety and be a learner yourself.

Young people who don’t feel social, emotional and physical safety have a hard time learning. LGBTQ youth who are marginalized fall into this category much of the time.

The 2017 School Climate Survey from Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) indicates that victimization in schools based on gender expression and sexual orientation had remained steady since the previous survey in 2015.

LGBTQ students experiencing discrimination and harassment:
Are more likely to miss school.Are more likely to face discipline in school.Are less likely to attend post-secondary education.Have lower grades.Have lower self esteem.
While some forms of harassment trended downward, harassment based on gender expression has risen. So has the frequency of negative remarks regarding gender expression from school staff. Though there are more Gender Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) than before, LGBTQ youth continue …