The Growing Out-of-School Time Field

Past, Present, and Future

Edited by:
Helen Janc Malone Ed.D., Institute for Educational Leadership
Tara Donahue

A volume in the series: Current Issues in Out-of-School Time. Editor(s): Helen Janc Malone, Institute for Educational Leadership.

Published 2017

The Information Age Publishing new book series, Current Issues in Out-of-School Time, is designed with a purpose to disseminate original research and promising practices that further the OST field. This first book sets the foundation on which the series rests upon, by offering an analysis of the progress made since the 2000s, as well as by looking toward the future for areas of considerations. Leading OST experts explore latest knowledge, intentionally bridging research and practice, and propose new areas of inquiry within each of the following six sections:

1. OST as a vehicle for young people’s development;
2. socio-cultural dimensions of OST;
3. professional development within OST;
4. research- and evaluation-informed field;
5. OST advocacy; and
6. future directions for the OST field.

The OST field has grown considerably over the last two decades. Today, we have the frameworks, practice- and research-based knowledge and tools, and burgeoning paths to advance the field across multiple dimensions: demographic, stakeholder groups, contexts, systems and sectors, and disciplines. The hallmark of the OST field has been the ability to remain agile and adaptable to change in a way that complements the field and supports all children and young people in diverse ways. This anthology is designed to be a platform for research-practice discussions and future directions that could further grow, sustain, and improve the field. We hope this book inspires both reflections and conversations on the OST field.


It has been clear for some time that the so-called achievement gap is driven in part by gaps in educational opportunities. Providing access to high quality out-of-school learning experiences is one of the most important measures that can be taken to reduce disparities and level the playing field. The authors in this important new book show us not only how to create such programs but why it matters to our collective future. Timely, relevant, and readable, this book is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to close gaps in educational opportunities. Pedro A. Noguera, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Education, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies

As the chair of the NAS/NRC committee that wrote the report Community programs to support youth development, I am delighted by this book. When we wrote the report in 2002, there were few systematic attempts to organize and theorize the emerging field of positive youth development. As the editors and chapter authors in this book make very clear, a great deal has happened at all levels of scholarship in this field over the last 15 years. Both this volume and the new book series that it is initiating signal the maturing of this field from childhood, through adolescence, and now into emerging adulthood. The breadth of work discussed in this collection is exceptionally broad, ranging from psychological theorizing about the impact of youth serving programs in the out-of-school time period to social policy analyses of how to grow the profession of OST Youth Professionals and create steady funding streams to support OST programming. All topics are critically discussed and new directions are suggested. I consider this book to be required reading of all students, scholars, professional, and practitioners in the field of positive youth development and OST programming. I go even further by suggesting it be read broadly by anyone interested in the education and development of young people around the world. There is no better collection available for educators, parents, community activists, and social policy makers concerned with positive youth development. I believe this collection lays a very strong foundation for achieving the goal set forth by Karen Pittman for the field to move from "Where and when to what and how." Jacquelynne S. Eccles, Distinguished University Professor of Education, University of California, Irvine

The impressive growth of OST programs represents one of the brightest spots on the American educational landscape. Importantly, as this book portrays, what began a series of programs and local initiatives has now grown into a maturing field, with standards, scholarship, organizations, policies, and funding at the national, state, and local levels. And more than a field, OST carries the urgency, energy, and passion of a movement for social justice.

The Growing Out-of-School Time Field offers a comprehensive review of earlier decades of work and points the way forward for the field’s future development. It should be read not only by those involved in the OST field, but by all educators who seek to create inclusive and powerful learning environments. Policymakers, as well, would benefit from deeper knowledge of this movement. It holds a key to preparing today’s youth for an uncertain future, where the nature of work is changing, norms of society are shifting, and multicultural, global perspectives are needed.
Milton Chen, Ph.D., Senior Fellow & Executive Director, Emeritus, George Lucas Educational Foundation (

Book reviews:

Journal of Youth Development: Book Review of The Growing Out-of-School Time Field: Past, Present, and Future

Youth Today: The Growing Out-of-School Time Field: Past, Present, and Future (book review)

Endorsements. Foreword, Dale A. Blyth. Chapter 1. Introduction, Helen Janc Malone. Section I: OST as a Vehicle for Young People’s Development. Chapter 2. 15 Years After Community Programs to Promote Youth Development, Sandra Simpkins, Yangyang Liu, and Nickki Pearce Dawes. Chapter 3. High Quality OST Activities and Programs: Using the RISE Approach (Relationships, Interest and Sparks, Empowerment) to Promote Thriving in Youth and Their Settings, Peter C. Scales. Section II: Social and Cultural Dimensions in OST. Chapter 4. Access to Out-of-School Time Programs for Underserved Youth, Nickki Pearce Dawes. Chapter 5. Responding to Shifting Demographic Contexts, Judith Cruzado-Guerrero and Gilda Martinez-Alba. Chapter 6. The Role of Out-of-School Time Programs in Bridging the Diversity Gap and Improving Educational Opportunities for African American Students, Mavis Sanders, Karen Lewis-Watkins, and Keshara Cochrane. Section III: Professional Development within OST. Chapter 7. The State of Professional Development: Past, Present, and Future, Elizabeth Starr and Ellen S. Gannett. Chapter 8. Core Competencies for the OST Field, Gina Hilton Warner, Heidi Ham, and Melissa S. Pearman Fenton. Chapter 9. Taking It to a New Level: Inquiry-Based Professional Development as a Field-Building Enterprise, Sara L. Hill, Joy Connolly, Thomas Akiva, and Anne McNamara. Chapter 10. The Leadership Imperative, Elizabeth M. Fowlkes and Tony McWhorter. Section IV: Research- and Evaluation-Informed Field. Chapter 11. The Growth, Evolution, and State of OST Evaluation, Christina A. Russell. Chapter 12. Innovative Use of Data as Game Changer for OST Programs: The Example of STEM, Gil G. Noam, Patricia J. Allen, Ashima Mathur Shah, and Bailey Triggs. Chapter 13. Exploring the Need for Research-Practice Partnerships, Ken Anthony. Chapter 14. Building Quality in Out-of-School Time, Jaime Singer, Jessica Newman, and Deborah Moroney. Section V: OST Advocacy. Chapter 15. Meeting the Growing Demand for Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs: The Role of Federal Education Policy in Closing the Opportunity Gap, Jen Rinehart and Nikki Yamashiro. Chapter 16. Closing the Summer Gap, Sarah Pitcock. Section VI: Future Directions for the OST Field. Chapter 17. Out-of-School Time Learning and 21st Century Skills: Building on the Past to Shape the Future, Elizabeth Devaney and Deborah Moroney. Chapter 18. Knowing Better, Doing Better: Three Gaps to Fill in the Next Decade of Research in Out-of-School Time, Joseph L. Mahoney and Shannon Haley-Mize. Chapter 19. Securing the Future: Pivoting OST from Where and When to What and How, Karen Pittman. Conclusion, Tara Donahue. Biographies.


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