Prevalent approaches to professional development in state 4-H programs

Martin Smith, Steven M. Worker, Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, Cheryl L. Meehan, Kendra M. Lewis, Emily Schoenfelder, Kelley Brian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


High-quality 4-H programming requires effective professional development of educators. Through a mixedmethods study, we explored professional development offered through state 4-H programs. Survey results revealed that both in-person and online delivery modes were used commonly for 4-H staff and adult volunteers; for teen volunteers, in-person delivery was most common. Additionally, most professional development efforts were characterized as episodic, expert-led, and group-based (traditional approaches); the least common approaches were described as ongoing, learner-centered, and group-based (reform-based approaches). Interview data supported survey findings. Traditional approaches to professional development are considered ineffective; thus, the implementation of more reform-based professional development opportunities is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number#4RIB2
JournalJournal of Extension
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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