Connecting the dots : youth development frameworks and the essential elements of 4-H
Scanga, Lauren Hrncirik
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With a plethora of youth development research and theories to scour and assess, deciding how to best support Positive Youth Development (PYD) can be daunting. However, a review of numerous frameworks proposed and validated by researchers and practitioners highlights that many seamlessly converge within the same basic foci: belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. This particular terminology was coined by Brendtro et al. in 1990 and combined within a framework called the Circle of Courage. Roughly a decade later, the Circle of Courage was adopted by 4-H Youth Development, and internally rebranded as the Essential Elements of 4-H. By aligning program focus with the Essential Elements framework, 4-H Youth Development professionals are employing PYD indicators supported by a century of respected research and practice.