Learning Pathways

Out-of-school time (OST) programs are most impactful when they support the development of a young person’s learning pathway. Here the term pathway (used interchangeably with trajectory) refers to a long-term experience that transcends bounded units of time or space. When young people pursue a learning pathway, they are driven by an interest and sustain it over several years and across multiple programs or teachers. This entry focuses on the roles that OST programs play to support and sustain youths’ learning pathways. The entry shares findings from research about pathways to college, career, and civic participation.

In the United States, narratives about meritocracy and individual resilience tend to frame popular accounts of learning and career pathways. That is to say, the exemplar is often presented as ...

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