I'm a huge fan of out of school programs. What happens here can be overlooked or seen as inconsequential when compared to learning which takes place during the school day. What we miss in this hierarchical approach is what school systems and staff can learn from designing and delivering learning differently.
After working on a province-wide after school initiative for children and youth with barriers to participation, I knew there was something phenomenal going on with respect to:
how to connect with kids and youth,
how to engage learners in a meaningful way, and
how to extend the reach to include marginalized learners.
I was so inspired by the school district, school and community organization staff that I focused my master's project around validating what happens in these programs. Below, you'll find key takeaways from my research.
Focus on rapport
Increased attention paid to building rapport
Focus on meeting children where they’re at
Provide greater emotional and developmental support
Staff’s role is to support, not manage behavior
Consultation around participant interests increases engagement
Relevant materials & resources are provided based on cultural background and social contexts
Flexible & responsive learning
Learning is approached in a flexible, responsive, learner-centered way
Learning is seen as a bi-directional process, that is the teacher is continuously learning too!
Focus on fun!
Smaller group sessions
* Taken from The REIL Model - An Engagement and Learning Tool for Marginalized Learners in Non-Formal and Formal Learning Settings (http://hdl.handle.net/1828/11773)
For more information or to book a session about the benefits of Out of School Programs, visit https://www.reillearning.com/k-12-learning