Steven Worker is the 4-H Youth Development Advisor for Sonoma, Marin and Napa counties.
4-H uses a variety of volunteers for it's programs. Steven conducted a study of volunteer educators, with a "diverse experiences, abilities and values" to teach STEM projects to students using 4-H curriculum at three sites using three different methods.
To describe volunteers' pedagogical practices, I conducted a qualitative case study at three sites where volunteer educators were implementing a design-based 4-H curriculum. The curriculum advanced youth scientific literacy by supporting scientific inquiry in conjunction with planning, designing and making shareable artifacts. Through detailed observations, videos and focus groups, I identified six common pedagogical practices, though educators differed widely in which ones they used. Pragmatic and structural constraints shaped their choices, as did their professional identification as engineers, or not, and their relative comfort with engineering.
To support volunteer educators in implementing a learner-centered educational program, curricula designers might be more specific in recommending and explaining pedagogical practices, and program managers might better train volunteer educators in those preferred practices.
Read this research article is in California Agriculture, volume 71, number 4.
Citation: Worker S. 2017. Volunteer educators bring their own ideas about effective teaching to a 4-H curriculum. Calif Agr 71(4):208-213. https://doi.org/10.3733/ca.2017a0021.
- Author: Diego Mariscal
- Editor: J. M.
4-H Outreach Summer Program
Summer of 2018
More than 100 youth, ages 5-12, participated in four weeks of summer camps in Santa Rosa and Windsor. The camps focused on team building, leadership, and civic services while also keeping youth active with sports clinics and non-competitive scrimmages to promote skill building.
Additionally, 4-H continued to grow its college preparation program – called JUNTOS - for Latino high school students. Four teens from Sonoma County were selected to attend the Juntos Summer Academy at UC Merced. The academy lasted 3 days and offered teens a weekend of college life along with college preparation workshops and mentoring.
As the new year begins, 4-H will continue to work with families, school districts and community partners to present more opportunities to engage in positive youth development programs.