Susan Kerr, WSU Klickitat Extension Director, summarizes the goals and intent of the National 4-H Curriculum Summit held at the National 4-H Conference Center in June 2007.
--Cathann A. Kress, Director of 4-H Youth Development
This June, we are convening a National 4-H Curriculum Summit to create an opportunity for representatives from all parts of the 4-H Youth Development Program to explore:
* The goals and appropriate standards for 4-H materials and relevant agreements and practices to support them;
* The future curriculum priority-setting process;
* Methods for ensuring quality and innovation; and
* Professional Development to strengthen our system capacity for quality curriculum development.
The goal of this national meeting is to provide momentum for 4-H faculty and staff to foster improvements as we transition our national curriculum processes. These improvements include:
* Materials to attract and retain a population of youth more reflective of the diversity of our society;
* Exploration of delivery methods and curricular strategies for the development of subject area competencies; and
* The incorporation of effective youth development models and principles to assist youth in the application of knowledge and the development of skills and knowledge important to succeed.
Each region was invited to nominate 25 representatives to participate in this hands-on meeting�from a range of individuals who work with 4-H curricula, including youth, volunteers, county faculty, state specialists, state program leaders, on-campus faculty with extension appointments, and other stakeholders. Participants are asked to represent a range of stakeholders who have experience with topics of the Summit , and who are willing to address these critical issues. Regional nominations are due following the State Program Leader meeting in April.
For some, the Summit begins June 11, when Session Committee Chairs and Members, as well as Collegiate Facilitators, come together to prepare for the Summit . Youth and volunteers have their own pre-session meetings at 1 pm, June 12. The Summit opens at 2 pm with a welcome and keynote speakers, and the first day concludes with a Welcome Reception and Demonstration Session for participants to explore innovative ideas in curricula and delivery modes. The remaining sessions are panels, followed by breakout discussions, on the following topics:
* Defining the Goals of National 4-H Curricula;
* Standards and Practices Related to Quality;
* Priority Setting at the National Level; and
* Action Items and Next Steps�Quality Review, Delivery Methods, Training
All participants attend the first three sessions, which begin with a Chair who presents an overview of the issue, introduces panelists with relevant expertise, and introduces questions that participants will address. Participants are randomly divided into smaller groups for breakout discussions. For the final session, participants meet in stakeholder groups (e.g., youth, volunteers, state specialists, etc.). The second and third days conclude with report out from the day's discussions and plans.
Additional information about the 4-H Curriculum Summit can be found at www.4hcurriculum.org (there is a link to Curriculum Summit). Please visit often for updates, reports, and videos related to the Summit.