Module 3 Outcome C: The student will be able to identify child and youth development frameworks and assessments pertaining to positive youth outcomes.
- Validity: the quality of the science supporting the framework. This includes evidence in the literature that the positive youth development characteristics described in the framework lead to positive outcomes, both short term and long term, and reduce the risk of negative outcomes.
- Utility: the extent to which the framework has been used in youth development research and in program evaluation, and the specificity and measurability of the constructs. Frameworks with validated instruments and surveys available are more useful for program planning and evaluation.
- Universality: the applicability of a framework to varying populations. Frameworks representing only particular subpopulations are less useful and effective than those which can be applied to diverse groups of youth.
Some examples of Youth Development Frameworks include: The Weikart Center’s Active-Participatory Approach, which is a powerful set of methods for working with children and youth. The approach is designed to organize youth work strategies into an easy-to-use framework. It is based on five decades of youth work practice and supported by current research on learning and development (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 1999; Eccles & Gootman, 2002).
Each of the nine Youth Work Methods emphasize a skill or set of skills based on the Active Participatory Approach. The Approach is rooted in the Positive Youth Development perspective (Benson, Scales, Hamilton, & Sesma, 2006). In this perspective: (a) youth have capacity to be positive assets in their communities, they are not just problems to be fixed; (b) development happens in an ecological system and settings like youth programs can be integral places in which youth engage and learn; and (c) youth are major actors in their own development.
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