By Sam Piha
Several years ago, Bill Penuel (formerly at SRI International) and I developed a Framework for Promoting Learning in Afterschool Programs. This framework, like the LIAS project, focused on learning so as to capture both the interest of afterschool leaders and education leaders. This framework focused on learning that contributes to school success. When I dug it up recently to review, I was pleasantly surprised how well it held up, given all the new research on learning and the brain, character skills, grit, tenacity, and social emotional skills that influence learning. The citations are not so recent but the ideas and concepts are still relevant. You can view a series of Power Point slides that align the framework here.
University of Colorado
Because we know that the practices of the organizations that oversee the programming influence the quality of the program, we list the organizational practices that must be in play to promote learning in afterschool.
Access to high quality resources for
need access to high quality educational materials that are engaging to youth
and that youth perceive as authentic, rather than as “school-like.”
can increase this access by actively seeking such curricula through
professional networks, the Internet, and by co-creating curricula with youth
Staff preparation and ongoing
professional development targeted to academic assistance
may need special preparation to lead homework assistance centers, tutor youth,
or orchestrate enrichment activities.
They need to be prepared to answer students’ questions and to help
students develop strategies to regulate their own learning.
can build staff capacity by hiring staff with teaching credentials or
experience and by equipping existing staff with knowledge and skills from
research about effective instructional practices.
Policies and strategies that promote
consistency and persistence in participation
to promote consistency and persistence in youth participation are necessary,
because regular attendance is a pre-condition for effectiveness.
can establish norms for participation among youth, procedures for follow-up
when youth are absent, and strive to provide a variety of programming options
to youth to motivate attendance.