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Access and Equity in Out-of-School Learning

Moving beyond the study of learning as a strictly school-based phenomenon, recent decades have seen a significant rise in research on learning in everyday and out-of-school settings often referred to as out-of-school time (OST). Within this field, there is a growing focus on access and equity. Research animated by an access framework often considers what it takes to make socially and academically supportive OST learning opportunities available for all students, particularly those historically marginalized or inadequately served by schools. This frame emphasizes the ways in which OST settings provide access to distinct forms of academic and professional practice, identity and community development, and connections with mentors and peers.

For equity-oriented researchers, this “access” frame is a necessary but insufficient approach to studying and working to transform ...

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