Citizenship and leadership
Developing leadership skills involves building civic and social responsibilities. Service learning and other youth program activities can make youth into leaders.
Comments on this page? Curator: Jacquie Lonning, citizenship & leadership program director
Youth Development Insight
Our faculty blog about research, issues and trends in the field. Join the conversation!
About two years ago, students at Becker High School in rural Minnesota created a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). These students wanted a space where they could be themselves, connect and feel safe in a town where they often feel they don't fit in and can't express their true identities. For adolescents, access to safe spaces is a crucial part of development and exploring self-identity. For youth programs, this is a fundamental concern.
While physical safety is the foundation of the YPQA pyramid from the Center for Youth Program Quality, emotional safety is also of crucial importance. Only when youth feel emotionally and physically safe are they able to present themselves in an authentic way and engage in positive development. Without that authenticity, true development cannot take place.
Meetings can be important and useful, or they can be a waste of time. How many of us have sat in a meeting and thought, "Is this meeting ever going to start?" or worse, "Is this meeting ever going to end?" The typical American professional attends more than 60 meetings per month, and about half of that time is wasted.
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Reports & journal articles
An important set of key skills which include problem solving, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and self-management - often referred to as "21st century skills" increase deeper learning, college and career readiness, student-centered learning, and higher order thinking. 2012.
Citizenship education in England 2001-2010: young people's practices and prospects for the future: the eighth and final report from the Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study
This landmark report looks to identify, measure and assess the short-term and long-term effects of citizenship education in schools on students over time. 2010.
Annotated bibliography on leadership and civic engagement developed to inform program outcomes for Minnesota 4-H Youth Development. (PDF) 2008.
Includes the Continuum of Youth Engagement and Eight Principles of engaging youth in community change. (PDF) 2007.
Pushing the Envelope on Youth Civic Engagement: A developmental and liberation psychology perspective
The authors present a typology of civic engagement that includes 1) community service; 2) work within organizations; and 3) sociopolitical activism aimed at changing organizations and society. (PDF) 2007.
Reviews the context, rationale and research related to youth in decision-making positions and provides recommendations for changes in adult expectations and support. 2007.
Beyond Access and Supply: Youth-led strategies to captivate young people's interest in and demand for youth programs and communities
Working on supply and access are necessary but not sufficient for the task of increasing young people's engagement in positive youth programs, activities, and informal opportunities. Youth are the marketing experts in this endeavor to increase participation in youth programs particularly by those who typically do not participate. 2006.
A complete, downloadable curriculum for high school service learning. This group of environmental activities are around water conservation. 2004.
The authors outline social and political dynamics of the 21st century that necessitate a redefinition of civic competence, asserting that youth must be prepared to collaborate with adults in new ways to identify and address social and political issues within ever-changing realities. 2001.