BOX 6-1

The Relationship Between School and Out-of-School Programs

Historically, relationships between school and out-of-school programs—particularly community-based out-of-school programs—have often been characterized by mutual mistrust and conflict. In a report based on 10 years of research studying approximately 120 youth-based community organizations throughout the United States, McLaughlin (2000) explains, “adults working with youth organizations frequently believe that school people do not respect or value their young people. Educators, for their part, generally see youth organizations as mere ‘fun’ and as having little to contribute to the business of schools. Moreover, educators often establish professional boundaries around learning and teaching, considering them the sole purview of teachers. If we want to better serve our youth, there is an obvious need for rethinking the relationship between schools and out-of-school programs, particularly for out-of-school programs that have an academic focus such as science.”

In Afterschool Education, Noam, Biancarosa, and Dechausay (2003) outline different models of relationships between school and out-of-school programs in an effort to create better relationships, management connections, and interesting curricula and materials. At one extreme, there is the model of “unified” programs that are the equivalent of what is now called extended-day programming. Under this model, out-of-school programs can become essentially indistinguishable from school, since they take place in the same space and are usually under the same leadership (the school principal). At the other extreme lie “self-contained” programs, which intentionally choose to be separate from schools. Taking place in a different location, they often provide students with an entirely different experience from school. Between these two extremes lie three other models: “associated,” “coordinated,” and “integrated,” each connecting out-of-school programs with schools at different levels of intensity. Noam and colleagues also outline the different ways these

researchers are more concerned with academic skills and improved academic achievement, as measured by standardized test scores, grades, graduation rates, and continued involvement in school science (Campbell et al., 1998; Building Engineering and Science Talent, 2004; Brenner et al., 2001). Given these different approaches (and the concerns we noted in Chapter 3 about relying on solely academic outcomes), we cannot provide definitive conclu-



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