Learning theory and environments
How do young people learn? How can youth programs best facilitate learning? Researchers and practitioners have contributed to an array of knowledge about how to maximize outcomes, with positive youth development as a core philosophy.
Comments on this page? Curator: Jessica Russo, Extension educator
Youth Development Insight
Our faculty blog about research, issues and trends in the field. Join the conversation!
Lots of recent events have me wondering how to encourage and foster empathy. Empathy is when one person is able to understand how another person is feeling. This sense of understanding is not something we are born with, it is a skill that we learn. The ability to empathize is critical because it allows us to understand other people. Read more about the front yard approach to cohort learning..
In June, kids say goodbye to the school year and are ready for summer vacation. For many of them, this doesn't mean a break from learning, but a chance to learn in different settings, with different teachers and mentors, and to direct their own learning to an extent. These lucky ones will learn all summer long, and may not even realize it. Read more about experiential learning with caring adults.
See all learning theory and environments blog posts.
Reports & journal articles
The purpose of this study was to examine academic outcomes of youth who participated in Minnesota's 4-H program compared to those who did not, and to understand how parent engagement and duration of 4-H participation affects youth achievement and attendance trajectories over five years. (PDF) 2014.
Prevailing narrative in the afterschool literature is premised on the idea that becoming a profession is required to build and sustain the field. Current strategies to professionalize do not reflect the complex and diverse nature of the work. This article uses critical theory to explore the imbalance of power in current discussions. 2013.
Research brief on youth engagement framework that includes Participation, Passion, Youth Voice, and Collective Leadership. (PDF) 2010.
A white paper on how quality matters in multiple dimensions of nonformal learning in the nonschool hours. (PDF) 2009.
Research focusing attention on the need for engagement of under-represented and under-served teen-agers, 13 years of age and older, in engaging and beneficial programs and opportunities that help them thrive. (PDF) 2009.