Thursday, October 31, 2013

Teens Trick or Treating


Here's an interesting article about six-foot trick or treaters.  I really empathize with the author and his son/son's friends.  I see a lot of half-costumed teens every year at my own house trick or treating after all the little goblins have gone to bed.   Symbolically, this article makes me think of many situations outside of Halloween and makes me ask many questions: how do the structures we all create (Halloween rituals, social rituals, school institutions, etc.) create dichotomous places that assume two social groups -- small children and adults?  In the article, the half-costumed boys go out trick or treating -- taking up the role of smaller children (which is great! We all have our inner 8 year olds!).  The other Halloween option is for teens to be trickers, throwing eggs and making chaos.  I wonder what it would mean to make Halloween rituals (or other rituals and institutions) less dichotomous.  How can we (all of us, including teens) create some additional roles and spaces where teens can be together, have fun, interact with others in meaningful yet distinctive ways, and contribute to the festivities in some way.



Sunday, October 27, 2013

Here are your 1 minute elevator speeches about Youth Development!
Lesley has some close up shots.  Think about whether you all want to edit these videos or if they can stand as is.  These are awesome speeches!!

What is Youth Development?


What is Youth Development at RIC?

What Makes a Good Youth Worker?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hi everyone!
Here is a Sample Professionalism Portfolio Entry.  I've done it here in our blog, but you will complete this task in your YD Portfolio.  Don't know where your portfolio is?  If you have made one already, Google "google sites." Your portfolio should pop up.  If you have not yet made one, go to the text section of the syllabus and follow the link that says "portfolio.

Make sure to have both local and national activities/organizations!


Corinne McKamey's Professional Activity List

Practice Setting:  Youth Experiential (outdoor) education

Professional Activity                                                       Where I found it

Association for Experiential Education                       I have presented/attended this conference
Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education    The web
Outward Bound                                                             I have taken one of their educator courses

Rhode Island Environmental Education Association   A friend told me about it.
Audubon Society of Rhode Island                                I have taken a course here.
Save the Bay                                                                   I know an educator there.

Friday, October 18, 2013

For next week, make a context map (see post below) and also take notes on the following 4 identities in your reading. Write about how you make sense of these identities -- your own observations, associations or connections with these identity types. 
  • Achieved 
  • Moratorium
  • Foreclosed
  • Diffuse

Corinne's Weekly Context Map
What contexts and relationships do you encounter on a weekly basis?  Map or list these contexts on your blog.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hey all, tomorrow morning, we would like to perfect and film the elevator talks from last week. Just wanted you to know in advance in case you wanted to wear something other than pajamas tomorrow morning! :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

The power of us!

We tried out our first group advising day this afternoon.  28 youth development majors (or soon-to-be majors!) came to HBS 205 for a few hours to meet each other, to find out some information about advising and courses, and most importantly, to talk with one another and with Lesley and I about courses, schedules and career goals.  The session started with an icebreaker so that newcomers would feel welcome in the group, and then students from FNED 352 presented one minute "elevator speeches"about youth development as a global field of study and profession, youth development @ RIC, and what qualities make a stellar youth development worker.  (See photo below of one of the groups presenting their elevator speech!).  Students worked on their plans of study individually and sometimes collectively, and there were some helpful shout outs in the room (e.g. Hey your taking xxx? Want to borrow my old textbook?).  From my perspective as an advisor, the energy and information traded around the room was so much more than what could ever come out of a one-on-one advising meeting in a faculty office.  I don't think this kind of collective group advising can replace one-on-one office hours for students who need extra help with tricky situations or who need some personalized counseling, but I think the group advising format provides something different from one-on-one advising -- capacity building?  a collective sense of community?  opportunities for friendship and mentorship across yd major cohorts?  other things?  

Today's group advising session also gave me really cool glimmers of your (students!) future as you graduate and continue to develop this kind of information and mentoring network with each other (and hopefully with RIC YDEV!) as youth workers and leaders in Rhode Island and beyond.

For those of you who were there at the advising session -- what do you think about your experience today?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Art of Water, R. Shreefter

In graduate school I joined a writing group to help me get through my dissertation.  (We still meet now, 13 years later!).  The first year we met, some of us got university credit for an "independent study" with our faculty advisor.  Unlike my peers, I chose to not get credit.  This puzzled my advisor:  why not get credit for something I was already doing?  Even though I respected my faculty advisor and learned a lot from being a part of the group, I didn't want to get a grade on what I saw as my own learning and transformation as a new researcher and writer.  It was important to me that the writing group space was somehow different from an academic space where transcripts and grade expectations symbolically placed me in a school institution at the bottom of a hierarchy of instructors, faculty, and administrators.  I took many classes from my advisor for credit and I learned a lot from those classes.  Somehow the writing group for me was different.  I wanted to keep the power of assessing myself and my own progress and transformation within me and within the learning community that we created.  I didn't want the institution stamping its seal of approval on the kind of learning that was happening for me in the writing group.  As a group we worked on an idea called, "thinking with" where we would read each other's writing and ask questions of the author -- not telling them what to do really, but to repeat back what we heard and to make associations with the text that moved all of our understanding and learning forward together.  It was and is a powerful experience.

Our guest instructors from Youth in Action seem to embody a way of working together that is more democratic and emotionally supportive than what I think of when I imagine traditional school settings.  When I read about some of the things that YIA has accomplished and the kind of community learning environment that it maintains, I think of my experiences within my writing group.  

Even though these two organizations -- YIA and my writing group -- are very different models of working together and comprise very different kinds of people, there is a spark of voice and balancing learning/working/growing together in and as a community.  I'm looking forward to learning more about YIA and how they see (and are) themselves working collaboratively together and with others like RIC.