Ching, D., Santo, R., Hoadley, C., Peppler, K. (2015). On-ramps, Lane Changes, Detours and Destinations: Building Connected Learning Pathways in Hive NYC through Brokering Future Learning Opportunities. New York, NY: Hive Research Lab. [link]
Summarized by Dixie Ching and Rafi Santo, Project Leads of the Hive Research Lab.
In the summer of 2014, Hive Research Lab (HRL) facilitated a design charrette with members of the Hive NYC Learning Network focused on supporting youth interest-driven learning trajectories. As part of the preparation for the meeting, participants were asked to provide illustrative examples of what successful pathways or trajectories looked like on the ground. The extraordinarily rich stories that emerged lead to HRL’s latest publication, a community-developed white paper entitled: On-ramps, Lane Changes, Detours and Destinations: Building Connected Learning Pathways in Hive NYC through Brokering Future Learning Opportunities.
This paper [pdf]—the result of 70+ individuals connected to Hive Learning Networks who engaged in collaborative sensemaking discussions, reflective conversations, and feedback-giving over several months—makes a strong case for the importance of brokering as a key strategy for supporting youths’ interests in sustained and robust ways. We contend that successful brokering (1) connects youth to meaningful future learning opportunities including events, programs, internships, individuals, and institutions that will support their ongoing interest-driven learning; and (2) enriches youth social networks with adults and peers that are connected to or have knowledge of future learning opportunities. We also emphasize that regional educator communities such as Hive Learning Networks—with robust social networks of educators and technology professionals—represent an impressive cache of human and social capital that could be leveraged more fully through brokering.
Challenges to brokering are discussed as well, including how a young person’s network orientation or help-seeking orientation may affect her ability to take up and navigate the opportunities brokered by high resource individuals, as well as the how information about future learning opportunities is currently hard to access and vet for educators who play brokering roles. Several recommendations targeted towards individual organizations and networks writ large are offered as generative starting points for thinking about ways to extend the impact of brokering.
We hope readers find this white paper useful and thought provoking and we look forward to more conversations and collective knowledge building around this core youth development practice. You can learn more about our research and stay connected at HiveResearchLab.org.