2018 Research Highlights: Youth Development
Research related to youth development focuses on educating and empowering today's youth. In 2018, all the research projects mapped to this program included elements focused on minorities and other underserved populations in Minnesota. 2018 highlights include:
- A study of the effectiveness of Ramsey County's truancy intervention programs revealed two key issues requiring further study and possible policy changes: 1) The interventions did not improve the attendance of students in the program after one year compared to students in Hennepin County; and, 2) Students of color were more likely to have their absences coded as "unexcused" which led to them disproportionately being referred to the program compared to white students. Further analysis is needed but PIs stressed the need for program analysis to look at the long-term effects, as short-term decreases in absenteeism may be misleading.
- A researcher conducting a study on Hmong student achievement made appearances on the Hmong TV Network and Dr. Chai Lee's Talking Education Radio Show where he discussed children's learning styles and parental expectations.
- Research on the achievement gap showed that active learning--things like working in groups and taking part in classroom discussions--can help close the achievement gap. This knowledge gain will provide valuable information toward designing better classroom experiences for all students.
- The U Connect program, a collaborative project including partners from Minnesota, Tennessee and Kentucky, realized short-term improvements regarding students receiving support to become more confident in their skills and abilities to achieve academic success.
- Researchers used human resource data from the Minnesota Department of Education and student score data to examine the distribution of teacher quality in parts of Minnesota and to devise tools for improving the selection of teachers.
- A study of the role of mentoring in youth development included a survey conducted at the Minnesota State Fair. Results showed that while parents and caregivers see value in connecting their children with supportive adults, they have little experience doing it.