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Learning from Research on Youth Engagement During Out-of-School Time

  • David J. Shernoff
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Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)

Abstract

In this chapter, research is reviewed, revealing that out-of-school time, and structured after-school programs in particular, provides an optimal developmental context for fostering engagement and positive youth development. Several studies using the experience sampling method (ESM) are then presented contrasting the experience of middle school students while at a variety of school-based after-school programs with their experience when they were not attending organized programs during after-school hours. While attending the after-school programs, the participants reported higher intrinsic motivation, concentrated effort, and positive mood states at the after-school programs than elsewhere after school. When in the after-school programs, students were the most engaged during sports and arts enrichment activities. Affect was significantly higher while doing academic enrichment activities compared to homework, suggesting that a positive emotional response was enhanced when academic work was approached as an individual or group activity that allowed students to demonstrate their skills and initiative and to gain feedback from adults and peers. Furthermore, the difference in quality of experience when in programs versus elsewhere was a significant predictor of a variety of academic and developmental outcomes including English and math grades. Community service and civic engagement opportunities are also discussed, as such opportunities are frequently found to be highly engaging and rewarding. Research on these and other after-school experiences is beginning to answer the question of what types of programs provide high quality experiences for youth, and to illuminate the nature of youth engagement with learning, whether inside or outside of the classroom.

Keywords

Civic Engagement Extracurricular Activity Positive Youth Development Organize Sport Experience Sampling Method 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Shernoff
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations College of EducationNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

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