Minnesota Walkabout Fellowship
The 2011-12 Minnesota Walkabout fellowship was a year-long effort to bring experienced youth workers together to generate more wisdom, language and leadership around youth worker preparation and practice in Minnesota. At both the state and national levels, a growing collection of standards, competencies, credentials and career pathways are being established to guide and standardize youth work preparation and practice. There are potential benefits, drawbacks and concerns to these systems. Read more about the Walkabout fellowship in our Youth Development Insight blog.
Initially presented with three questions, the fellows settled on two important issues for focus:
Clockwise from lower left: Shaun Kelley Walsh, Lindsay Walz, Kari Denissen Cunnien, Deena McKinney, Jenny Wright Collins, Shaina Abraham, Cheryl Meld, Angel Peluso, Emily Schloesser.
- What would happen to youth work in Minnesota if we adopted a broadly shared understanding of youth work values, principles and ethics?
- What would it look like if Minnesota had a creative system of expectations and accountability for youth workers?
The nine working papers produced by the fellows are organized around three themes—values, accountability and networks. They represent a truly Minnesotan view of these issues, grounded in practitioner wisdom.
Download the entire collection: Moving Youth Work Forward: Reflections on Youth-Centered Practice in Minnesota (1.3 MB PDF)
Download individual papers by clicking on links below.
- Think About It: An Exploration of Values, Principles and Ethics of Youth Work, (279K PDF)
- Youth Worker Values and Approaches, (272K PDF)
- Toward a Youth-Centered Approach: Creating a (New) Standard Operating Procedure through Shared Values, (317K PDF)
- Accountability with a Youth Worker Voice, (229K PDF)
- The Impact of Social Contracts on Youth Work in Rural Minnesota: A Walkabout Exploration of Expectations and Accountability, (415K PDF)
- Supporting Youth Workers through Reflection Circles: An Alternate Approach to Program Accountability, (274K PDF)
- Inclusivity, Engagement, Voice: A Youth-Centered Approach to Creating Professional Development Networks, (741K PDF)
- Itís Complicated: Crafting a System to Support Youth Work, (315K PDF)
- Building Capacity for Program Quality in Youth Work: Learnings from a Six-Year Quality Journey of the Minneapolis Beacons Network, (438K PDF)
Evaluation of this fellowship program
The purpose of this evaluation was to both support and capture the exploration process and its ripple effects in order to summarize benefits and impacts and to inform next steps and future related efforts. Specifically the evaluation was intended to support adaptive learning, document the emergent process, provide ongoing feedback, and capture ripple effects. Download the evaluation. (427K PDF)The Walkabout fellowship was co-sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Education. The effort was led by Extension Center for Youth Development faculty Joyce Walker, Cece Gran and Kate Walker, Carol Thomas and Sheila Oehrlein of the department of education, and youth development consultant Janet Madzey Akale.