ERIC Number: ED411114
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
When the ABCs That Students Learn Are Agency, Belonging, and Competence.
Carver, Rebecca L.
A study examined experiential education programs in terms of how they developed participants' personal agency, sense of belonging, and levels of competence. Personal agency empowers students to become change agents in their lives and communities; sense of belonging enables participants to see themselves as members of a community with rights and responsibilities; and developing competence involves learning new skills, acquiring knowledge, and applying what was learned. Research sites were selected that had institutional norms compatible with the principles of experiential education and offered multicultural populations of inner-city youth ample opportunity to gain exposure to the organization (usually several years). Sites included a professionally operated newspaper staffed almost entirely by youth, a performing arts center located in the heart of an inner-city neighborhood, a local chapter of a national organization with the mission of empowering girls and young women, and an organization staffed mostly by teenagers and young adults serving youth infected or affected by the HIV virus. Data included observations of organizational activities over a 10-week period, informal and formal interviews with youth and staff, and products created at the sites. The remainder of the report summarizes normal everyday events at these organizations; documents how the organizations are effective in promoting agency, belonging, and competence among participants and staff; and includes information on sponsoring organization, student population, project goals, and program components. (LP)
Descriptors: Change Agents, Community Organizations, Community Programs, Educational Objectives, Educational Principles, Elementary Secondary Education, Empowerment, Experiential Learning, Holistic Approach, Inner City, Program Descriptions, Service Learning, Student Development, Student Experience, Urban Youth, Youth Agencies, Youth Programs
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).