Work in partnership with youth to create a shared plan. Recognize that youth and adults have unique knowledge and things to learn from each other. Both benefit when operating as collaborators, as opposed to ‘teachers’ and ‘students.’

Background and Strategies

It is natural for adults who work with youth to feel a sense of responsibility to teach and lead.  However, this age-driven format to partnerships detracts from the many benefits of a more collaborative approach to youth programming. A Youth-Adult partnership rubric was created by Community Evaluation and Research Collaborative (CERC)—University Outreach and Engagement at Michigan State University, and The Neutral Zone, Ann Arbor’s teen center to:

1) formalize the concepts of youth-adult partnership

2) to be used as a low-stake peer/self-assessment tool for strengthening youth-adult partnership practices, and 

3) to be used as a formative or summative evaluation tool for assessing the structures and processes of youth-adult partnership in youth settings” (Wu, Weiss, Kornbluh, & Roddy, 2014).  

The reciprocity section of the rubric describes ideal youth-adult collaborations where youth and adults are working as partners. This includes co-creation of meeting agenda and co-preparation of and delivery of activities, seeking out and integrating each other’s opinions and ideas, routine collaboration on tasks, and effort on the part of the adults to learn from youth and explore new possibilities (Wu, Weiss, Kornbluh, & Roddy, 2014). 

*Inspired by Neutral Zone

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