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Positive Youth Development 101 Online Courses

Positive Youth Development (PYD) 101 Online is a series of short courses intended to introduce PYD to new youth work professionals, volunteers, and advocates. It is based on, and can be used to supplement, the training curriculum Positive Youth Development 101 by Jutta Dotterweich. The online courses were created by Jutta Dotterweich and Karen Schantz of ACT for Youth, together with members of the Cornell Social Media Lab.

These stand-alone, interactive courses may be taken in any order. Each course can be completed in about 30 minutes. Courses are open to all; registration is required. The six courses and course objectives are shown below.

Principles of PYD

  • Identify the principles of the PYD approach
  • Strategize ways to put these principles into action

Puberty and Adolescence

  • Describe the major physical changes and developmental tasks of adolescence
  • Identify specific challenges that some youth face when going through puberty and adolescence
  • Explain risk taking in the context of brain development

Youth and Technology

  • Describe current trends in teen online behavior
  • Identify key features of the internet and its implications for online behavior
  • Describe the impact of social media on adolescent well-being and development
  • Describe ways to build digital literacy and citizenship skills in youth

Youth Development Programming

  • Describe features of effective youth development settings
  • Identify young people's strengths as a way to engage youth in programming
  • Describe scaffolding, a teaching strategy that works for all age groups
  • Describe the experiential learning model and how it can be used in youth programs

Youth Voice and Engagement

  • Identify meaningful roles for young people
  • Describe expressions of adultism and ways to address them
  • Identify approaches to prepare youth and adults for working together as equitable partners

Youth Work Ethics

  • Describe the role of a youth worker
  • Describe key competencies needed for youth workers to be effective
  • Discuss how personal boundary issues arise and how to deal with them
  • Identify common dilemmas experienced by youth workers and strategies to handle them

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This project is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Smith Lever project 2015-16-143.