“Working together as a team really gets them fired up': Afterschool program mentoring strategies to promote collaborative learning among adolescent participants"
Yu is a National Science Foundation SBE (Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences) Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Under Simpkins’s sponsorship, Yu examines high-quality and culturally responsive math afterschool program practices for under-represented minority youth. Additionally, Dr. Yu collaborates with researchers in the Developing Character Project to explore the development of youth’s character virtues from childhood through adolescence, with particular interest in understanding how afterschool activities help support youth’s positive character development.
Liu studies family processes, diversity and equity in education, learning motivation, and cultural studies. She is particularly interested in how after-school activities promote positive youth development within the broader bioecological system. She is currently working on a project funded by Mott Foundation to examine after-school quality and Templeton Character Development project with Simpkins and Chancellors Professor Emerita Deborah Vandell.
Hsieh researches adolescent development, educational underachievement, academic motivations, out-of-school learning, cultural competencies, and social interventions. Under the advisement of Simpkins, she studies the ecological factors of student academic motivation and underachievement.
Lee’s research foci include motivation and academic achievement, adolescent development, diversity and equity in education, resilience processes, and social interactions. She investigates the roles that social agents play in immigrant youths’ adaptation to their new environment and ways to foster their well-being. She is advised by specializing in Human Development in Context. She also is working on the project funded by Mott Foundation to examine after-school quality and Templeton Character Development project with her advisor Simpkins and Vandell.
Simpkins is a developmental psychologist, studying child and adolescent development. She researches how families, friendships, and social position factors (such as ethnicity and culture) shape adolescents’ organized after-school activities and motivation. She is currently working on research focused on the positive outcomes of youth’s participation in activities as well as the predictors and correlates of high school students’ STEM motivational beliefs
Pantano’s research interests lie in the field of representation theory. Her teaching interests are in active learning and inquiry based-learning strategies, and the development and assessment of K-12 math enrichment programs.
Opportunities for collaborative learning reflect positive peer processes that have strong implications for adolescents’ developmental experiences in afterschool programs (ASPs). However, collaborative learning, which involves considering multiple viewpoints and coordinating actions with peers to accomplish a shared goal, is often difficult for adolescents to navigate. Utilizing qualitative methods, the purpose of this study was to identify ASP mentoring strategies that promote collaborative learning among adolescent participants. Based on the experiences and perspectives of college student mentors who serve as frontline staff of a math enrichment ASP for Latino/a middle school students, we identified four mentoring strategies that promote collaborative learning: (1) nurturing personal connections with and among youth, (2) establishing positive group norms, (3) strategically splitting groups and work, and (4) modeling collaborative behaviors. These strategies reflect best practices that frontline staff can utilize to promote adolescents’ collaborative learning, skill development, and engagement in ASPs. Practical implications and directions for future research are discussed.