Halpern's new book explores apprenticeships

Halpern book coverA new book by Professor Robert Halpern shows how the age-old concept of apprenticeship, tweaked for the 21st century, offers rich opportunities for youth to learn both professional and life skills.

The Means to Grow Up: Reinventing Apprenticeship as a Developmental Support in Adolescence (New York: Routledge, 2009) explores the growing movement to provide meaningful, in-depth learning experiences under the guidance of skilled professionals. From his studies of such programs, Halpern concludes that apprentices gain real skills, judgment, and a sense of accomplishment, while exploring their identity and learning to express themselves and function in the adult world—all important developmental tasks of adolescence.

The book also makes the case for incorporating such experiences in school reform. One reviewer says, “In an era of rampant student boredom and failing schools, Halpern shows us how an old model of mentorship and learning is being reinvented to provide powerful experiences to prepare youth for the workforce of the 21st century.”

Grants from the William T. Grant Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Garfield Foundation, the Robert Bowne Foundation, the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, and the Wallace Foundation supported Halpern’s research and writing.