Building the Whole Person

This month, we are focusing on planning for professional development with a series of blogs on the who, what, why, and how of professional development for out-of-school time (OST) programs. This week we examine what makes professional development effective in developing the whole person and accomplishing program goals.

The work triangle illustrates how our performance, learning and enjoyment at work are interconnected. In OST programs, performance is about providing high quality programs for youth.Learning includes growth and the development of skills and know-how for our work. Enjoyment is about how we feel about our work. It includes satisfaction, purpose, accomplishment and challenge, as well as negative feelings such as frustration and stress. It is typical in most work environments to emphasize performance over learning and enjoyment, but the reality is that performance is diminished when learning and enjoyment of work suffer.

"When either the learning or the enjoyment side is ignored, performance will suffer in the long run. When it does, management feels threatened and pushes even harder for the performance. Learning and enjoyment diminish even further. A cycle ensues that prevents performance from ever reaching its potential (Galloway, 2000)." from The Inner Game of Work, by Timothy Galloway.

You can evaluate the balance among these three elements in your program by examining how performance goals are articulated in comparison to learning and enjoyment goals. Do you have a professional development plan in place? Does it include learning, enjoyment and performance?

To create learning goals, think about the qualities or attributes you want to develop in yourself or staff. Focus on developing understanding, skills, and expertise. Imagine creating a culture of learning, enjoyment and performance in your program. What would it look like? Click2SciencePD has resources designed to help you create a professional development plan that balances performance, learning and enjoyment of work for staff. The Click2Science professional development model integrates a variety of learning experiences that engage all staff members. The model emphasizes discussion and learning from one another. Opportunities to learn together contribute to developing skills (learning) and building collegiality (enjoyment).