By Guest Blogger Mari Glatter, University of Maine 4-H
In October, the Maine 4-H team had the pleasure of working with Mary Arnold for an introduction to the 4-H Thriving Model. Our staff had a blast diving into the background and structure of this positive youth development framework. One of the key takeaways from that time was how we (as 4-H staff) were already doing so much of the Thriving Model, but that this conceptual model holds all of the practices in tension with the research.
As much as our Maine team loved what Mary taught us we also knew that to truly incorporate the Thriving Model into our everyday 4-H work we needed time spent with the vocabulary, the lingo, embedded into the framework. So, in December I had the thrill of leading our staff into another encounter with the words and concepts of Mary’s work – a retrieval practice of sorts.
We also used this time to explore some technology platforms that might be helpful in different 4-H contexts.
We also used this time to explore some technology platforms that might be helpful in different 4-H contexts. We started with a Kahoots competition where teams challenged each other on their memory of the parts of the Thriving model. Then we talked through the Developmental Context, looking again at definitions of Youth Sparks, Youth Program Quality Principles, and Fostering Developmental Relationships. Following that review staff, in their small groups, went over to Padlet to brainstorm one 4-H program area that connects with the Developmental Context.
To work on the Thriving Trajectory, I created a document that staff had to hunt for the missing words by using a QR scanner and finding giant QR codes placed around the building. Each QR code led to a unique pdf that had information about one of the seven markers of a thriving youth. I had planned for us to create screencasts to describe the Developmental Outcomes but our time ran out.
The staff concluded the professional development time by retaking the Kahoots quiz to assess growth during our re-investigation – great news, they jumped from 40% initial accuracy to 90% post PD! The biggest impact for our staff team was comfort and familiarity with the specific terminology of the 4-H Thriving Model. Understanding this terminology is crucial to implementation of the model in 4-H programming.
Mari Glatter is a 4-H Youth Development Professional in Maine. Her primary duties entail coordinating and managing the 4-H education program in Aroostook County, with a special emphasis on 4-H STEM programming and technology integration. Mari has 20 years of experience in education and volunteer recruitment and management.