Out-of-School Time Special Interest Group

Posted by on July 7, 2006

In 2005, a group of interested researchers, practitioners, and policymakers formed the Out-of-School Time Special Interest Group (OST SIG) of the American Educational Research Association. The OST SIG is an affinity group for professionals and students interested in research on how children and youth spend their time during out-of-school hours.

A primary focus of this research is teaching and learning in before- and after-school programs and summer programs, but out-of-school time also includes weekends, holidays, evenings, and other times of day characterized by discretionary opportunity, choice, and flexibility.

The purpose of the OST SIG is to provide a forum for professionals in out-of-school time teaching and learning to share resources and become each other’s resources; to provide venues and opportunities to present related research; and to bring additional resources to AERA.

Because of your interest in out-of-school time, we wanted to share this information and invite you to become a member of the SIG.

The OST SIG offers interested professionals the opportunity to attend sessions on out-of-school time teaching and learning during the AERA annual meeting each year. The OST SIG also convenes at this time to conduct its business meeting and elect officers. We hope to offer a number of sessions at the April 9-13, 2007 conference in Chicago, Illinois focused on topics such as:

1. Advocacy – how to communicate research to policy makers
2. Impact of NCLB on afterschool and summer programs
3. School and out-of-school time link
4. Narrowing the achievement gap through out-of-school time programming

1. Longitudinal studies
2. Research methodology
3. Youth as co-researchers
4. Defining appropriate developmental and educational outcome measures
for youth in out-of-school time programs
5. Building infrastructure through mapping studies/needs assessment

1. Costs of out-of-school time programming
2. Access and equity issues, particularly for urban youth

1. Professional development / professionalization of the field
2. Defining program quality
3. Varying program structure and outcomes to meet the needs of specific
age groups of youth (K-12)
3. Diversity of programs in the field
4. Digital media
5. Literacy as social practice

If you have any questions, feel free to contact one of the SIG officers listed below. We look forward to speaking with you, and hope to see you at the 2007 conference. You can also keep abreast of OST SIG news and information by visiting: http://www.aera.net/Default.aspx?id=1435

Warm regards,

Sara Hill
Program Chair
The Robert Bowne Foundation

Brenda McLaughlin
SIG Chair & Secretary/Treasurer
Johns Hopkins University, Center for Summer Learning

Helen Janc Malone
Membership Chair & Editor
Harvard University

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