For more than 25 years, Professional Development Dimensions has contributed to Southeastern Pennsylvania’s School Age and Out of School Time (OST) education community building positive relationships and providing tools for thousands of educators, which has positively affected the education of tens of thousands of students and families.
PD Dimensions focuses on classroom and program improvements through a systemic approach in the OST environments . Two of our largest initiatives include Building S.T.E.A.M. and Effective Climates in School Age Programs.
As passionate and reflective educators, our work has challenged us to ask, “What are the components needed to support Out of School Time (OST) programs in developing an engaging science, technology, engineering, art and math environment that stimulates youth learning?”
Experienced S.T.E.A.M. coaches support OST staff through the process of teaching children the skills of curiosity, inquiry, creativity, exploration, collaboration, and critical thinking through STEAM rich activities and lessons in order to stimulate children’s future success in higher education, in the workplace and as citizens.
Thus, Professional Development Dimensions seeks to mobilize a community of learners who focus on addressing the challenges of making S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art and math) learning approaches accessible, understandable, doable, and sustainable within OST environments.
In our initiative, OST programs receive professional development and on-site coaching in S.T.E.A.M. learning approaches. Professional Development Dimensions has been developing this service model for the past three years through field tested pilot projects funded by PEW Charitable Trusts and MERCK Foundation.
To create a foundation for S.T.E.A.M., PD Dimensions consultants also connect OST programs to a network of experts in the field through our annual S.T.E.A.M. Conferences and national and statewide partnerships.
Effective Climates in School Age Programs:
Our “Effective Climates in School Age Programs” initiative works with the enthusiasm of committed out-of-school time programs who are driven by their dedication to creating and maintaining safe and effective environments.
PD Dimensions consultants support program staff in identifying ways to ensure that all youth have the social/ emotional skills needed to be successful and to enhancing staff competence in promoting appropriate practices for the guidance of youth behavior and increased learning.
The goal of the initiative is to create a paradigm shift within school age care programs that empowers staff with the tools to move from an authoritarian approach to a proactive resiliency approach that supports children’s responsibility for their behavior and builds internal locus of control. This relationship based model focuses on the impact that positive behavior supports and social emotional learning have on children, families, and center climate.
As “challenging behavior” continues to be a topic of great interest among many who work in School Age and Out of School Time programs, this initiative targets this problem by assisting teams of programs in Southeastern Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, and Delaware counties) by implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) strategies along with Trauma Informed practices.
Through on-site professional development and hands-on relationship-based mentoring/coaching, these programs explore the use of research based materials such as: the Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) curriculum, the PAX: Good Behavior Game, and the Resiliency Approach to create climate wide change.