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ERIC Number: EJ1016815
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Teaching the "What" As Well As the "How": Content-Rich OST Professional Development
Cooper, Benjamin
Afterschool Matters, n18 p1-8 Fall 2013
This article examined the literature on best practices in content-specific professional development and then aligns this work with the practices of a citywide afterschool chess program run by After School Activities Partnerships (ASAP) in Philadelphia. School teachers, out-of-school time (OST) staff, and youth workers readied themselves to think and talk about their work, to learn something new and useful. As OST programs are increasingly pressured to connect their activities to school day learning, identifying and implementing best practices in OST professional development has become increasingly important. Workshops were chosen as the main avenue for ASAP's professional development for several reasons. First, workshops were the most cost-effective way for a small-budget outfit to provide high-quality professional development to a group of educators. Second, an in-person workshop created an opportunity for club leaders and ASAP staff to meet face to face, building a sense of community and belonging. The diversity among ASAP club leaders and host sites made this connection to ASAP especially important. In the review of professional development practices, it was concluded that "a qualified, motivated staff with a low turnover rate" was critical to creating quality afterschool programming. As OST programs consider content-specific programming, the sustainability and quality of their workforce played a prominent role in their thinking, as well as student outcomes. When staff members were equipped to create content-specific activities and were given autonomy to implement them, OST programs created an "experience-rich" environment that pushes youth to achieve and that engenders enthusiasm and longevity among staff.
National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Tel: 781-283-2547; Fax: 781-283-3657; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A