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EVIDENCE-BASED

PRATICE

IDEAS Empowered by Youth®

IDEAS Empowered by Youth®

 One of the primary goals of IDEAS Empowered by Youth® is to empower young people with 21st Century Skills for success in the classroom and beyond.  

EVIDENCE-BASED CURRICULUM

IDEAS Empowered by Youth® Curriculum incorporated several elements of evidence-based practices including the following:

PROJECT-BASED LEARNING (PBL)
  • PBL is used as a teaching method that is inquiry-based that engages learners in knowledge construction by having them accomplish meaningful learning projects and develop real-world products. Students learn through the creation of a tangible product where students are focused on a shared goal and are provided with some end product specifications from the instructor.
  • Researchers have found that PBL has been shown to support the development of 21st-century skills (Musa Mufti, & Latiff, 2012).
  • IDEAS Empowered by Youth® incorporates PBL in the curriculum where youth have to create projects ranging from documentaries, digital art portfolios, business proposals, and public service announcements. 
PROBLEM BASED LEARNING
  • Prettyman and colleagues (2012), report that it is important when teaching 21st-century skills for students to develop their own ideas, test and share those ideas, and receive input from their teachers and peers to further develop their ideas. This learning process is known as the Problem Based Learning Approach (PBL).
  • PBL is an educational method that provides students with authentic learning opportunities with a focus on teaching through real-life situations and solving real-world problems (Prettyman et al., 2012).
  • In the PBL approach, teachers introduce a situation that their students can relate to or that they care about. Students then identify problems within the given situation, brainstorm ideas to solve those problems, test their solutions, and communicate their results to demonstrate their learning. Therefore, PBL not only requires higher levels of critical thinking but PBL also requires higher levels of creativity to solve the problem (Prettyman et al., 2012). 
  • The IDEAS Empowered by Youth® curriculum embodies Problem Based Learning Approach (PBL). Learners are taught the UN Sustainability Goals in order to develop real solution-based projects requiring creativity, higher level thinking, testing solutions, and receiving peer feedback.
ACTIVE LEARNING
  • Active learning is when students are engaged in their own learning and are active participants in their education and not just passive consumers (Gomez & Albrecht, 2014). 
  • As a result, active learning helps students retain more information and the information they learned is more meaningful to students (Gomez & Albrecht, 2014).
  • IDEAS Empowered by Youth® lessons are not taught in a lecture-based format where learners are passive. Instead, facilitators teach the content where learners are actively creating group projects and grappling with the curriculum content; thereby increasing their engagement and retention of 21st-century skills.
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING
  • Self Directed Learning is a method where learners are taking charge of their own learning process and teachers act as facilitators, encouraging critical thinking in their students (Schnittka, Brandt, & Evans, 2012).
  • In Self Directed Learning students become less reliant on teachers as they explore new information and become more self-directed in taking ownership of their own learning (Schnittka, Brandt, & Evans, 2012).
  • IDEAS Empowered by Youth® curriculum is taught using Self Directed Learning methods. Initially in the curriculum, the teacher facilitates content learning with structured lessons but towards the later part of the curriculum, students are self-directing their own learning by conducting independent research and developing group projects.
INCREASING DIGITAL LITERACY
  • According to Deiglmayr and Spada (2010), an effective way to teach communication skills is through group collaboration.
  • Students who work collaboratively in groups can deepen their learning by asking their peers questions and have content explained in another way that makes more sense (Deiglmayr & Spada, 2010).
  • Loveland and Dunn (2014) also found that through peer tutoring and mentoring that occurs naturally in group work, students can develop a better understanding of the content. Also, students in group work can form better relationships with their peers resulting in being better able to solve conflicts within the group and show more respect to each other (Loveland & Dunn, 2014).
  • IDEAS Empowered by Youth® curriculum, incorporates collaboration among learners through group projects that develop skills in communication, collective problem solving, giving and receiving feedback, and coordinating a collaborative research project.  
GROUP COLLABORATION LEARNING
  • According to Deiglmayr and Spada (2010), an effective way to teach communication skills is through group collaboration.
  • Students who work collaboratively in groups can deepen their learning by asking their peers questions and have content explained in another way that makes more sense (Deiglmayr & Spada, 2010).
  • Loveland and Dunn (2014) also found that through peer tutoring and mentoring that occurs naturally in group work, students can develop a better understanding of the content. Also, students in group work can form better relationships with their peers resulting in being better able to solve conflicts within the group and show more respect to each other (Loveland & Dunn, 2014).
  • IDEAS Empowered by Youth® curriculum, incorporates collaboration among learners through group projects that develop skills in communication, collective problem solving, giving and receiving feedback, and coordinating a collaborative research project.   
21ST CENTURY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR EDUCATORS
  • Effective Professional Development in 21st Century Skills is critical in developing educators’ instructional techniques for teaching 21st Century Skills to youth (Garet, Porter, Andrew, & Desimone, 2001).
  • However, much of the professional development for 21st-century teaching has been lacking or ineffective, and not enough educators currently have sufficient experience teaching 21st-century skills to have developed the deep expertise needed to train others (Garet, Porter, Andrew, & Desimone, 2001).
  • IDEAS Empowered by Youth® through the Learning Management System (LMS) virtual platform offers educators training on a wide variety of topics including 21st-century, project-based learning pedagogy, and developing positive learning communities while connecting educators to a community of experts.
EARLY WARNING SYSTEM
  • Early Warning Systems are developed to support educators in identifying students who are not meeting attendance, behavior, or learning standards and implementing appropriate interventions to reduce the gaps (Davis, Herzog, & Legters, 2013).
  • IDEAS Empowered by Youth® curriculum incorporates an Early Warning System for educators providing a screener tool, intervention checklist, and system for ongoing progress monitoring and implementation to improve student outcomes and support diverse learning needs.
USE OF A LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
  • Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are defined as online learning technologies for the creation, management, and delivery of course material (Turnbull, Chugh, & Luck, 2019).
  • Researchers have found that LMSs contribute an essential role in enhancing and facilitating teaching and learning for students and educators (Paulo Cristiano de, José C. de A. Cunha, & Keiko Nakayama, 2016).
  • IDEAS Empowered by Youth® utilizes a Virtual Learning Management System (LMS) for instructors/facilitators to learn how to teach the curriculum and pedagogy on implementing 21st-century skills.
COMMUNITY OF INQUIRY FOR ONLINE CLASSROOMS (COL)
  • According to Garrison and colleagues (2010), the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework provides a useful explanation of how a community is developed in online classrooms. An online community is fostered by three interdependent elements: social presence, teaching presence, and cognitive presence. Social presence is the ability of participants to establish themselves as real in a virtual environment. Social presence is cultivated when students are supported in being authentic in the virtual classroom. This occurs when students are allowed to share elements of their personal and professional lives with instructors and peers.
  • By implementing virtual group activities that require collaboration, interaction, and reflection, instructors can help students strengthen relationships with peers in an online community setting (Garrison, 2011). Creating these opportunities for students to build community virtually among each other also helps students develop a social presence and positively impact students learning.
  • IDEAS Empowered by Youth® creates a Community of Inquiry by embedding practices to build positive classroom culture like safe space activities, fostering discussion, group projects, and having students connect the content to their personal lives.
     
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING PRACTICES
  • Social and emotional learning (SEL) involves many types of learning that enable individuals to develop and use the skills, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors to handle themselves, form positive relationships and work effectively (CASEL, 2012; 2015; Kendziora, & Yoder, 2016)
  • CASEL (2012; 2015) identifies five social and emotional competencies 1. Self-awareness—the ability to recognize one’s emotions, strengths, and limitations, and their effects on behavior; 2. Self-management—skills that enable individuals to regulate their emotions and their behaviors, including setting and achieving goals, perseverance, and managing negative emotions; 3. Social awareness—one’s ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those with diverse backgrounds, and to understand social and ethical norms of behavior; 4. Relationship skills—skills that allow individuals to develop healthy, meaningful relationships with others (listening, cooperating, seeking and offering help, and resolving conflicts peacefully); and 4. Responsible decision making—the ability to make ethical choices about behavior based on ethical standards and social norms, and an evaluation of the effects on others.
  • IDEAS Empowered by Youth® fosters the development of Social Emotional Learning Skills (SEL) of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness,  relationship skills, and decision-making skills. Youth complete activities on self-awareness to learn more about themselves, their mental health, and their physical health. Youth build social awareness by learning about the global sustainability goals and how this applies to their local communities. Youth also build relationship skills by working together in groups and creating group projects. Youth also learn responsible decision-making on how to solve problems and come up with effective solutions to improve local & global communities.

ALIGNMENT WITH 21ST CENTURY FRAMEWORKS

There are currently evidence-based 21st Century Frameworks that the IDEAS Empowered by Youth® are aligned with.

ALIGNMENT WITH THE P21 FRAMEWORK
  • Partnership for the 21st Century (P21, 2009), described in the table below the 21st-century student outcomes (represented by the rainbow) and the knowledge, skills, and expertise students should master in order to succeed in work and life in the 21st century.
  • Their framework suggests core subjects and 21st-century themes for educators. These subjects include:
    • Global Awareness: Understanding global issues, other nations, and other cultures. 
    • Financial, Economic, Business, and Entrepreneurial Literacy: Knowing how to make economic choices, and understanding the role of the economy in society. 
    • Civic Literacy: Learning how to participate effectively in civic life, exercising the rights and obligations of citizenship.
    • Health Literacy: Obtaining, interpreting, and understanding basic health information and services; understanding preventive physical and mental health measures.
    • Environmental Literacy: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the environment and the circumstances and conditions affecting it, particularly as it relates to air, climate, land, food, energy, water, and ecosystems.
  • The IDEAS Empowered by Youth® curriculum includes all of the key core subjects outlined in The Partnership for 21st Century Skills ( (P21; 2009) including health literacy, financial literacy, urban farming, digital arts, community organizing, and entrepreneurship. 
ALIGNMENT WITH ASSESSMENT & TEACHING OF 21ST CENTURY SKILLS (ATC21S) GROUP
  • ATC21s was formed for 21st Century Skills research purposes by three technology companies Cisco, Intel, and Microsoft. Their purpose is to better understand the integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Skills and educational assessment. The assessment and teaching of the 21st Century Skills Framework contain four broad categories of skills including ways of thinking, ways of working, tools for thinking, and living in the real world (Binkley et al., 2012). ATC21S framework encourages educators to help students acquire these skills that will prepare them for the world of work, careers, and modern living.
  • IDEAS Empowered by Youth® curriculum is aligned with this framework as it incorporates all 4 skills within the curriculum. It teaches youth innovative ways of thinking and solving global problems, it focuses on collaboration & group projects while taught on a digital platform. The curriculum also has elements of career and college readiness embedded within the lessons.
ALIGNMENT WITH enGauge 21ST CENTURY SKILLS
  • The enGauge 21st Century Skills Framework takes requirements for technology literacy set forth by the No Child Left Behind national education policy and further defines what students need in order to be successful in the digital age (Lemke, 2002).
  • The enGauge Framework describes the essential skills students need for 21st Century learning (Lemke, 2002). The “enGauge” defines four essential 21st-century skills which contribute to the success of students:
  • IDEAS Empowered by Youth® curriculum incorporates all 4 elements of the enGauge 21st Century Skills Framework. The curriculum presented to youth is in a digital format where students develop and create their own projects based on finding solutions to the UN Sustainability Development Goals. Learners are engaged in creative thinking, problem-solving, and higher-order thinking while developing group projects that require teaming and collaboration, social responsibility, and interactive communication.