If there is anything I’ve learned at the Network it has been the deeper meaning to most of the things we do here. Ken created a new version of CLASP he calls “SUPER CLASP” (really known as “Moving toward Mastery”).  He’s a funny guy and pretty darned smart….but humble.  I’ve been trying to figure out a way to tell people about this new program but have stumbled along the way because I didn’t quite grasp what Ken was trying to do.  This morning, after reading a research paper he wrote I suddenly understood!!!

Ken is very much about the data.  There is so much of it that people can’t seem to connect the dots from the data to the actual practice of the findings.  Much of the data that is presented is “high in the sky” data.  No one talked to the supervising staff or the line staff at the bottom to see what was needed, what the issues were, or whether or not the actual findings of the research could be integrated into what staff were actually doing.  The researcher would just come in, observe, collect data, analyze it and develop recommendations.  HUH?

This is where Ken’s ideas start to flow….could the Network help create a type of “Research Practitioner Partnership”? Simply said, a researcher would work with after school professionals to design a study to better address each program’s specific problems and issues.  That way the actual data becomes personal to the program. It’s a win/win situation – the staff get relevant information that can impact outcomes and the researcher gets firsthand exposure to the nuances of program administration.

Mind you, this is hard but rewarding work.  You’ll work with Ken step by step like he does with all his CLASP cohorts since 2014.   You will discuss, brainstorm, and bounce ideas with each other. You will be introduced to research, policy and best practices that have been implemented in other places and see how it can best fit your program.  You will then learn to document your own research and practices and let the world know how smart you are…and humble.

If this interests you, please contact Dr. Ken Anthony at kanthony@ctafterschoolnetwork.org for more information or visit our CLASP page for details.