The Quest for Mastery

The Quest for Mastery Positive Youth Development Through Out-of-School Programs

Sam M. Intrator and Don Siegel
paper, 240 Pages
Pub. Date: March 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-659-3
Price: $30.00

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In The Quest for Mastery, Sam M. Intrator and Don Siegel investigate an emerging trend: the growth of out-of-school programs dedicated to helping underserved youth develop the personal qualities and capacities that will help them succeed in school, college, and beyond.


With intelligence and compassion, The Quest for Mastery documents how a well-run afterschool program can turn around the life of an at-risk child and help kids who are struggling discover the focus, self-discipline, and sense of community they need to succeed. — Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO, Harlem Children’s Zone

In The Quest for Mastery, Intrator and Siegel bring to life the core principles that underlie positive youth development in out-of-school programs. Their interviews with youth, staff, parents, and teachers, coupled with their observations and notes from the field, can guide, inspire, and transform educators’ efforts to expand opportunities for young people. — Deborah Lowe Vandell, dean, School of Education, University of California, Irvine

Intrator and Siegel explore exemplary out-of-school programs that teach young people about identity and integrity, growing up, and aspiring to success through sports and the arts. Working alongside caring, committed adults, youth learn about the power of passion, discipline, and community. The Quest for Mastery promises a better future for the young and for our world. — Parker J. Palmer, author of Let Your Life Speak and The Courage to Teach

This terrific book is proof of hope made real in the lives of the kids who need it most. — Neil Nicoll, president and CEO, YMCA of the USA

These researchers have tried to understand what makes youth programs such as theirs distinctive from school-related activities and what can schools learn from this kind of endeavor. Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels.
— R.C. Morris, CHOICE

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About the Authors

Sam M. Intrator is a professor of education and child study and a member of the Urban Studies Program at Smith College. He has a Ph.D. from Stanford University and master’s degree from the Bread Loaf School of English of Middlebury College. Prior to working at Smith, he taught and served as an administrator for twelve years in public schools in Brooklyn, Vermont, and California. At Smith, Intrator teaches courses on urban education, youth development, and the teaching of humanities in K–12 schools. He founded the Smith College Urban Education Initiative—a program that places college students in urban classrooms in an effort to deepen their understanding of the challenges and possibilities of working with youth in urban contexts. Intrator has written or edited five prior books, including Tuned In and Fired Up: How Teaching Can Inspire Real Learning in the Classroom (Yale University Press, 2003), which was a finalist for the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in Education. He has received a number of awards, including a Presidential Distinguished Teacher Award by the White Commission on Presidential Scholars, a W. K. Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship, and an Ella Baker Fellowship. He is currently serving as principal of the Smith College Campus Laboratory School.

Don Siegel is in his thirty-eighth year as a professor of exercise and sport studies at Smith College, where he helped develop the graduate program that specializes in training college coaches. This nationally acclaimed program has been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Coaching Education. He teaches graduate courses in motor learning, sport psychology, and sport philosophy. He also teaches undergraduate courses in sport sociology and in sport as an educational medium for youth development. He has coached on the collegiate and youth levels and was an urban youth sports program consultant for the Boston-based Barr Foundation. Siegel has been instrumental in developing several youth sports initiatives in Boston and Northampton. He has been the editor of Research Works, a section of the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Coaching Education, and has been a reviewer for many refereed journals, including the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. He has published widely in the areas of sport psychology, motor learning, exercise physiology, sport sociology, and computing and in professional aspects of sport and physical education.

Table of Contents

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