What Is the National Afterschool Matters Fellowship?
The Fellowship is a two-year professional development and leadership training program unique in its national reach and incorporation of technology for ongoing collaboration. It comes from an exciting partnership between two experienced national leaders, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College and the National Writing Project (NWP), with generous funding from the Robert Bowne Foundation.
What Does It Offer?
- A collaborative process of study, conversation, and engagement within a community of OST professionals in a shared investigation of OST practice, policy, and experiences;
- Direct, hands-on inquiry-based research, learning, and writing, under the guidance of experienced mentors;
- Leadership development, designing and delivering training/presentations for peers, administrators, parents, and community members;
- Product preparation and writing for dissemination, such as briefing papers, workshops, curricula, and articles for professional publication;
- Two retreats at Wellesley College, led by NIOST and NWP (travel stipend provided);
- A participation stipend each year.
Who Is It for?
The NASM Fellowship is for mid-career OST, education, or youth development professionals who demonstrate a commitment to the field. NASM fellows are selected by application, and over a two-year process engage in reflection, inquiry and writing activities that position them to inform and contribute to the quality of OST programs, practice, and the broader field.
How Did It Start?
NIOST and NWP launched a national, city-based, Afterschool Matters Practitioner Fellowship in September 2008. These fellowships have taken place in seven different areas around the country. The National Afterschool Matters (NASM) Fellowship is a new model developed by the NIOST and NWP partnership, and began in the fall of 2015.
What Is the Philosophy Behind It?
The NASM Fellowship is informed by the theoretical and philosophical foundation of teacher inquiry, a 30-year movement that profiles teacher knowledge and emphasizes the importance of teachers in improving practice. Research engages professionals in identifying questions and problems in their own work experiences, and then provides the structure for them to examine these problems systematically and reflectively. Professional development does not mean merely learning a few more classroom strategies, but rather becoming more professional on all levels. NASM Fellows are viewed as the agents of reform through professional development. This professional development model provides frequent, ongoing opportunities for practitioners to reflect on practice, engage in inquiry projects based on their own questions and concerns, and write about their work. Those who are well informed and effective in their practice can be successful teachers of other practitioners as well as partners in development and implementation of such practice. The NASM Fellowship engages professionals in the OST and youth development fields in a process of leadership development where they learn to reflect on, study, improve, and assess their work with a view toward improving its quality and impact.
Applications due May 31, 2017.
Fellowship Cohort Two commences Fall 2017.
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