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Extension > Youth Development > Events >The means to grow up: Reinventing apprenticeship as a developmental support in adolescence

The means to grow up: Reinventing apprenticeship as a developmental support in adolescence

Robert Halpern, Ph.D.
Professor at the Erikson Institute in Chicago

March, 2011

Robert Halpern describes the pedagogical importance of apprenticeship ... a growing movement based in schools, youth-serving organizations, and arts, civic, and other cultural institutions. This movement aims to re-engage youth through in-depth learning and unique experiences under the guidance of skilled professionals. Employing a pedagogy of apprenticeship, these experiences combine specific, visceral, and sometimes messy work with opportunity for self-expression, increasing responsibility, and exposure to the adult world.

Halpern discusses the value of apprenticeship and apprenticeship-like learning experiences for young people — what he means by youth apprenticeship, where they take place, what they look and feel like, the role they play in helping young people negotiate the developmental tasks of the high school years, and the role they might play in strengthening the work of schools and in forging a more developmentally appropriate model of schooling.

As policy people rethink the learning day … from extending the day to expanding the school year, Halpern opens new ways of thinking about non-formal learning approaches that bridge out of school and formal school time; approaches that the field of youth development is exploring for the preparation of youth workers.


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