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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 203158 Find in a Library
Title: Staff Development for the Youth Development Professional: A Critical Framework for Understanding the Work
Journal: Youth & Society  Volume:35  Issue:2  Dated:December 2003  Pages:204-225
Author(s): Angela J. Huebner; Joyce A. Walker; Marcia McFarland
Editor(s): Kathryn G. Herr
Date Published: December 2003
Page Count: 22
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article presents a framework for critical reflection on practices that encourage community-based youth workers to explore and apply the lessons of positive youth development in their programs and discusses the experience of facilitating adult learning within this curriculum, the responses of participants, and the implications.
Abstract: Staff development is a likely and logical point from which to begin to infuse the work of youth development with focus and change. This article’s intent is to clarify definitions of the “work” of positive youth development and to suggest specific methodological strategies for helping youth development workers critically reflect on their practice, regardless of their particular programmatic affiliation. This is illustrated through the evaluation of the Moving Ahead: Preparing the Youth Development Professional curriculum. The Moving Ahead course is a 40-hour format with the pilot project involving nearly 600 child-and youth-services staff serving school-age youth on U.S. Army installations around the world. In examining the impact of the curriculum and the facilitative teaching process, participants were given an 18-item survey assessing their perceived abilities and knowledge before they attended the training. Several implications were presented for the field of youth development and for those who provide staff development training: (1) workers in the field of youth development must come to agreement on the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to be an effective youth development worker; (2) a bridging of the worlds of research and practice, theory and application; (3) continually strive to improve the foundation of staff development; (4) invest in youth development staff; (5) expand the context of staff development events; and (6) develop national staff development materials for the field, and create a system for access and dissemination. The Moving Ahead training represents an initial step in thinking about the work of youth development and the methods used in staff development training. References
Main Term(s): Youth development
Index Term(s): Child development; Professional in-service education; Professionalization; Staff development training; Youth worker training
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