SPIN Volunteer Quick Guide to Mastery

SPIN Volunteer Quick Guide to Mastery (PDF)

Mastery is at the heart of 4-H SPIN clubs. Young people demonstrate mastery when they are able to competently use new knowledge and skills in real-world situations. As a SPIN volunteer your goal is to help the members in your SPIN club master the knowledge and skills they need.

Best Practices for Mastery Ways Volunteers Can Promote Mastery
  • Young people learn best through hands-on learning.
  • Plan learning activities that actively engage them in learning — build, create, explore, make, discover, test, plan, cut, estimate, experience, measure, draw, etc.
  • When young people successfully solve problems or meet a challenge, they develop confidence in themselves — they believe they are capable.
  • Present them with a challenge or problem to solve. Encourage and support them, but allow them to discover the solution.
  • Young people demonstrate leadership skills.
  • Provide leadership opportunities such as, leading an activity, helping others who need assistance, or planning a family event to showcase what members have learned.
  • Young people demonstrate their mastery to others.
  • Provide opportunities for members to share what they have learned, created, and mastered at a family event, competition, or community gathering.
  • Young people learn from their mistakes.
  • When things don’t work out as planned, talk with the young person and ask what s/he thinks went wrong, what s/he could do differently, and how to avoid the mistake in the future. Allow the young person to reflect on the experience, share his/her thoughts, and identify a solution.

Adapted with permission from University of Illinois Cooperative Extension.