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ERIC Number: EJ1047206
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Curriculum and Professional Development for OST Science Education: Lessons Learned from California 4-H
Worker, Steven M.; Smith, Martin H.
Afterschool Matters, n20 p21-27 Fall 2014
A wide variety of out-of-school time (OST) programs across the U.S. offer science education opportunities that cover many scientific disciplines and use diverse pedagogical practices (National Research Council [NRC], 2009). However, to improve youth's scientific literacy, OST educators need to "have the disposition and repertoire of practices and tools at their disposal to help learners expand on their everyday knowledge and skill to learn science" (NRC, 2009, p. 309). Thus, OST educators need both essential pedagogical skills and high-quality curriculum materials. Development, evaluation, and use of effective professional development strategies are key components of the California 4-H SET Initiative. Examples grounded in literature on best practices in professional development of science educators are outlined in this article. The "Step-Up" Incremental Training Model targets 4-H teen volunteers who implement science curricula with 4-H youth (Smith & Enfield, 2002). A sequence of three workshops engages teen volunteers in hands-on, inquiry-based science activities and effective teaching techniques. The volunteers alternate between workshops and actual implementation of the curriculum. Allowing time for implementation between workshops provides opportunities for individuals and groups to reflect on their practice over several weeks. The California 4-H SET Initiative is advancing promising practices in OST science education through systematic research, development, and evaluation. These efforts not only are applicable to 4-H programming nationally but also can inform the work of other organizations looking to design and implement effective OST science programs for youth.
Descriptors: After School Programs, Science Education, Science Process Skills, Skill Development, Science Instruction, Teaching Skills, Science Curriculum, Workshops, Adolescents, Volunteers, Hands on Science, Inquiry, Science Activities, Youth Programs, Curriculum Development, Robotics, Animals, Water, Faculty Development, Teaching Methods
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: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.niost.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A