4-HCCS guided our core belief that achieving behavioral change (a.k.a. life skill development) was far more important than achieving content mastery.
For all practical purposes, 4-H manuals focus on “training” a child to do something rather than learning content. (Mocker & Spear)
“There appears to be little difference in a lesson that trains a monkey vs. a small child to plant a seed... if the only goal is getting the seed into the ground.” (Bybee)
“Receiving an A ribbon on a 4-H project probably has more to do with how well a child follows directions than the child’s appreciation and understanding of content. (Mocker & Spear)
For that matter, just “living” could be described As learn-by-doing. (Proudman).
“Now what I want is facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!” (Thomas Gradgrind, in Charles Dickens’ Hard Times)
“Since this may be the students’ last chance to learn the material, it makes no sense to risk the moment with anything less than structure and content.” (The Content Core)
”Would you want someone operating on you who does not have mastery of the content?”
By focusing our attention on the mastery of content we will place our youth in a state of readiness for the 21st century. (Horton, 2007 4-H Curriculum Summit)