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ERIC Number: EJ1160842
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Equity and Inclusion: An Action Agenda for Youth Development Professionals
Curry, Jennifer Siaca
Afterschool Matters, n26 p1-7 Fall 2017
After the push of No Child Left Behind to focus on academic preparation, the field has moved to yet another phase: an expanding commitment to social and emotional learning. Fortunately, this out-of-school time (OST) trend is paralleled in formal education. The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, for example, uses a broad definition of student success that includes safety, communication skills, and healthy relationships. This new emphasis is an important one, but it cannot be fully implemented without attention to basic principles of respect and safety or to the need to value all children and youth. In recent years, American youth have witnessed a surge in racially charged violence and discriminatory rhetoric. The OST field can and should respond with an explicit commitment to equity, inclusion, and culturally responsive practice. OST professionals must actively value and respect the identities of the young people they serve, including their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, appearance, and ability. This essay proposes significant yet simple changes--grant funding not required--to support youth while embracing their diverse assets. There are not enough pages in this journal to do full justice to every aspect of this sensitive topic. As one contribution, this article provides both immediate action steps and food for further thought and exploration. The author offers a theory- and practice-based model for how OST professionals can approach their work using "critical social pedagogy." This new pairing of existing frameworks, building on a tradition widely used in Europe, views OST professionals as caregivers and protectors of children's rights. Framing OST professionals as critical social pedagogues, this article challenges educators to take action both by attending to their own beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors and by designing programs with an antidiscrimination framework.
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 - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A