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Showing posts from February, 2020

Traditions in youth programming—a blessing or a curse?

By Jessica Pierson Russo

Working for an institution (4-H) that has been around for more than 100 years, I come across many traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation. Traditions can be a blessing! But they can also be a curse. I could fund all of Extension if I had a nickel for every time I've heard, “but we’ve always done it this way!”

Done right, traditions serve a greater purpose. Done wrong, the traditions become the master, taking over better judgement and practices. Youth programming itself can become a kind of tradition—for good or bad.

The question is, are our programs and approaches serving youth and families? Or are we putting youth and families in the position of serving some long-held tradition that may no longer serve their interests?

Participating in traditions can have a profoundly positive effect on a person’s sense of belonging. They can bring a sense of predictability to a space, can help people feel a connection to the past. Studies also …

How to choose career training that will do the most for you

By Nicole Pokorney

Wouldn’t it be great if we told job interviewees that professional development would be required? Wouldn't it be great if organizations invested in funding exactly the right support for each employee at every stage of their career?

At the beginning of each year, many of us make a plan of work that includes professional development. Sometimes we choose a conference or a training for no better reason than its familiarity. Many times the knowledge and materials we gain just get filed away or even worse -- thrown away. That is not a sign of good professional development.

True professional development meets the needs of the employee in the context of their career stage and organization in which they work. For the employee, it takes time to reflect on your own passions and skills, your job position and the organization’s mission.

Rennekamp and Nall explained the problem. “Participation in professional development opportunities is seldom done to meet a specific need art…