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Tom Martinek and Don Hellison

In this essay, a new approach to doing research in schools and other community settings is described: service-bonded inquiry. This approach allows researchers to expand the boundaries of scholarly inquiry through the integration of service and scholarship. It is not an attempt to replace traditional forms of research; rather, it serves to complement the way researchers have historically conducted research. Service-bonded inquiry is the proverbial bridge between what Hal Lawson (1990) calls information gathering and useful information. The discussion here focuses on describing important assumptions underlying service-bonded inquiry and arguing that personal values and commitment must be assessed before engaging in this type of research. In addition, guideposts for evaluating and doing service-bonded inquiry are provided.

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Michael A. Hemphill and Tom Martinek

Cross-aged teaching programs provide leadership experiences to youth who aim to influence children to be responsible, caring, and compassionate. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a leadership development protocol on relationship development in an established cross-aged teaching program. Method: Guided by the developmental relationships framework, “Simple Interactions” was implemented with a group of nine youth leaders. The intent was to help them improve their relationships with children in four categories (a) connection, (b) reciprocity, (c) participation, and (d) progression. Data were collected through reflection documents and focus group interviews. Results: Qualitative results explain how Simple Interactions impacted reflection and revealed strategies youth leaders used to build relationships with children. Discussion: The findings suggest that the Simple Interactions protocol may provide an innovative strategy to promote reflective practice and develop positive relationships in a cross-aged teaching program.

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Tom Martinek and Michael A. Hemphill

Don Hellison fully realized that getting students to become positive contributors to their community meant that experiences that engender a greater sense of being a responsible person had to be provided. He leveraged the power of out-of-school time programming to implement his Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR) model and build relationships with variety of underserved youth. Don also understood that community partnerships were important in this effort. This article provides a glimpse at how Don was able to establish TPSR programs in a variety of out-of-school settings—all of which addressed the needs of underserved children and youth. A historical context is provided to illustrate the placement of TPSR in the broader movement of positive youth development. Don’s programs that operated during out-of-school time and spanned the western region of the country to the urban sections of Chicago are described. Inconsistent partner support, scarcity of program space, and feelings of self-doubt are presented as challenges to the viability of TPSR programming. His commitment to making programs work despite these challenges is portrayed. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to illustrate how Don’s work has made a significant contribution to the positive youth development movement within out-of-school time contexts.