Pursuing interests and getting involved: Exploring the conditions of sponsorship in youth learning

Carrie Allen, Daniela DiGiacomo, Katie Van Horne, William Penuel

Abstract


The phenomenon of “brokering”—or connecting youth to present or future opportunities—is now well known in the field of learning and youth development as an integral part of how and why youth pursue and remain in particular interest-related learning opportunities. More recently, the related term sponsorship refers to the multiple ways in which youth experience brokering-like moments related to their interests. This article aims to better understand how sponsorship functions in the everyday conduct of youths’ lives, as well as if and how sponsorship mediates young people’s sustained participation and planned future in relation to their interest(s). We leverage a longitudinal data set collected over three years of youth participation in interest-related activities to retrospectively understand sponsorship within the existing conditions of young people’s lives, including youth interest and access to program resources. Findings suggest that interest was often not the initial driver for youth entering an activity, but that youth joined activities based on other perceived benefits. Once involved, however, they found themselves developing skills, making friends, and seeing a possible future in the activity. We conclude with design principles intended to support young people in joining an activity, sustaining their participation, and seeing new possibilities for their futures.  


Keywords


Interest-related learning; sponsorship; social connections; planned futures

Full Text:

PDF

References


Penuel, W.R. & Author. (2016). Connected Learning. In The Sage Encyclopedia of Out-of- School Learning. (Vol. 2, pp. 132-136). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Reference. Azevedo, F. S. (2011). Lines of practice: A practice-centered theory of interest relationships. Cognition and Instruction, 29(2), 147-184. Azevedo, F. S. (2013). The tailored practice of hobbies and its implications for the design of interest-driven learning environments. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 22(3), 462-510. Barron, B. (2006). Interest and self-sustained learning as catalysts of development: A learning ecology perspective. Human development, 49(4), 193-224. Barron, B., Gomez, K., Martin, C.K., & Pinkard, N. (2014). The digital youth network: Cultivating digital media citizenship in urban communities. MIT Press. Beach, K. (1999). Consequential transitions: A sociocultural expedition beyond transfer in education. Review of research in education, 101-139. Cole, M. (1996). Cultural psychology: A once and future discipline. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Dreier, O. (1997). Subjectivity and social practice. Aarhus, Denmark: Center for Health, Humanity, and Culture. Dreier, O. (1999). Personal trajectories of participation across contexts of social practice. Outlines: Critical Social Studies, 1(2), 5-32. Dreier, O. (2008). Psychotherapy in everyday life. New York: Cambridge University Press. Hidi, S., & Renninger, K. A. (2006). The four-phase model of interest development. Educational psychologist, 41(2), 111-127. Holland, D. & Lave, J. (2009). Social practice theory and the historical production of persons. Action: An International Journal of Human Activity (2), 1-15. Holzkamp, K. (2015). Conduct of everyday life as a basic concept of critical psychology. In E. Schrauble & C.Højholt (Eds.), Psychology and the conduct of everyday life (66-99). London: Routledge. Ito, M., Gutiérrez, K., Livingstone, S., Author 4, Rhodes, J., Salen, K., ... & Watkins, S. C. (2013). Connected learning: An agenda for research and design. BookBaby. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Maul, A., Author, Dadey, N., Gallagher, L. P., Podkul, T., & Price, E. (2017). Measuring experiences of interest-related pursuits in connected learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 65(1), 1-28. Mørck, L. L., & Huniche, L. (2006). Critical psychology in a Danish context. Annual Review of Critical Psychology, 5. Penuel, W.R., Authors & Kirshner, B. (2016). A Social Practice Theory of Learning and Becoming Across Contexts and Time. Frontline Learning Research, 4(4), 30-38. Rogoff, B. (1990). Apprenticeship in thinking: Cognitive development in sociocultural activity. Scribner, S., & Cole, M. (1973). Cognitive consequences of formal and informal education. Science, 182(4112), 553-559. Sefton-Green, J. (2012). Learning at not-school: A review of study, theory, and advocacy for education in non-formal settings. MIT Press. Stake, R. E. (2013). Multiple case study analysis. Guilford Press. Vygotsky, L.S. (1934/1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Licencia Creative Commons

ISSN 2013-9144

 

RCUB revistesub@ub.edu Avís Legal RCUB Universitat de Barcelona