Youth Circus Core Competencies
From September 17-19, 2010, the biennial educator’s conference of the American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO) convened at the New England Center for Circus Arts in Brattleboro, Vermont. Under the facilitation of Jackie Davis, a two-part meeting was held in which twenty-five youth circus program directors, teachers, and practitioners identified, discussed, drafted, and subsequently recommended eight core competencies to the AYCO board of directors.
AYCO enthusiastically endorses these core competencies as tools to shape policy, practice, professional development, research, and evaluation in youth circus programs, and it acknowledges the autonomy and authority of each member organization to operationalize the core competencies according to the culture, customs, and practices of each organization. The recommended core competencies address: 1) stages of development; 2) activities, program, and curriculum; 3) professionalism; 4) cultural competence and diversity; 5) youth voice (involvement and empowerment); 6) caring relationships and behaviors; 7) physical and emotional safety; 8) community partnerships: families, schools, and civic organizations.
View the Core Competencies Summary Document
The rationale for identifying core competencies for youth circus practitioners is articulated in the paper Toward best practices in youth worker training for developmental circus arts programs, by Jacqueline Davis, EdM (2009): http://www.americanyouthcircus.org/Default.aspx?pageId=903731.