Lesson Study Model of 4-H Professional Development: Data-Driven Improvements to Educator Practice


  • Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty University of California Cooperative Extension San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey Counties
  • Steven M. Worker University of California Cooperative Extension Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties
  • Martin H. Smith University of California - Davis Departments of Population Health and Reproduction and Human Ecology




lesson study, communities of practice, professional development, 4-H


Educator professional development in the 4-H Youth Development Program needs improvement. Lesson study, an iterative and educator-centered approach to professional development, has proven to be effective in school-based settings; however, research on the model in youth development programs is limited. The present study investigated the use of lesson study with professional Cooperative Extension staff, adult 4-H volunteers, and teenage 4-H volunteers in different 4-H contexts in three state programs. Findings revealed improvements in educators’ data-driven decision-making, content knowledge, lesson planning and implementation, and social connections across all contexts. To work effectively within the 4-H context, however, some adaptations to the model were necessary.

Author Biographies

Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, University of California Cooperative Extension San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey Counties

4-H Youth Development Advisor

UCCE San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey Counties

County Director, San Benito County

Steven M. Worker, University of California Cooperative Extension Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties

Associate 4-H Youth Development Advisor

UCCE Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties

Martin H. Smith, University of California - Davis Departments of Population Health and Reproduction and Human Ecology

Specialist in Cooperative Extension, Science Education

Departments of Population Health and Reproduction and Human Ecology


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