CFLE Directions: Do Your Job Better With the Professional Resource Library

by Dawn Cassidy, M.Ed., CFLE, NCFR Director of Education
CFLE Network
Content Area
Professional Ethics and Practice

One of the reasons that people join professional associations like the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) is that it provides reciprocal opportunities to share knowledge and resources relevant to the field. It avoids duplication of effort and can increase the likelihood that best practices are followed.

Recently NCFR member Julie Zaloudek, posted an inquiry on the Education and Enrichment (E & E) Section listserv asking members to share their suggestions for teaching a class in family resource management. Several Section members responded by sharing their course syllabi.

Perhaps encouraged by the willingness of others to share their resources, Julie soon after posted information about an assignment that she and colleague Amanda Barnett created to provide students the opportunity to examine families in poverty at various systems of Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory and through a family resource management lens. Several members responded with appreciation and enthusiasm about the assignment.

I contacted those who had shared their syllabi via the E&E listserv to ask their permission to post them on the NCFR Professional Resource Library (PRL) and was pleased, but not surprised, to see how willing people were to share their resources. Julie and Amanda were both also happy to grant permission for a link to their assignment to be posted. This quote from Julie reflects the frequent attitude NCFR members have about sharing their work.

"…we would be delighted to have it shared out in whatever way you think is best. It has been a rewarding assignment for us and our students, and it is gratifying to think that others might find it useful for students or that it could inspire more ideas for learning activities."

Find or Share Helpful Resources

NCFR has hosted the Professional Resource Library for several years now and the number of resources has grown to more than 1,700. The PRL provides an opportunity to find and/or share resources related to family science organized through a number of categories including article, book, curriculum, DVD/video/webinar, podcast, research brief, syllabus, textbook, website, and other. You can Filter by Content Area or Search by Keyword.

Many of the resources posted on the PRL are accessible to anyone visiting the NCFR website. However, there are a number of resources that are only accessible if you are logged in as an NCFR member or as a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). You do not need to be the author or creator of a resource in order to share information about the resource through the PRL. The intent is that you share information on resources that you have found helpful in your practice. If there a book, textbook, or curriculum, for example, which you have found to be especially relevant to your work, check to see if it is posted. If not, click on Contribute to the Library and provide the requested information. It is important to recognize copyright restrictions so in most cases, the resource should not be downloaded to the PRL. Instead, a link to where more information about the resource can be found can be included in the posting. If you don't want to complete the Contribute to the Library form you can just send information about the resource to me and I will see that it is posted.

Recommend a Resource

If a resource you like is already posted you can show your support for it by clicking on the Recommend button (viewable only to those logged in to the site). This hasn't been a feature that a lot of people have been using but we are hoping to increase its use as it is a great way to get a general feel for resources that other professionals value.

New Category: Lesson Plans/Assignments

A number of years ago NCFR published three very successful collections of family life education lesson plans. They have been out of print for some time but I have long wanted to resurrect this valuable resource. The Professional Resource Library provides the perfect venue for such a collection. Toward that end, I engaged the services of Taylor Crowser, a student from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, working as an intern for NCFR this summer. Most likely you received one or more emails from Taylor asking you to share lesson plans and teaching assignments relevant to various family life education content areas for inclusion in the PRL. Whether working in an academic setting or teaching families in the community I hope you took the time to share one or more lessons plans or teaching assignments you have found to be successful.

I encourage you to take advantage of all that is available through the PRL. Not only is it a source for tools and information that can help you in your work, but it also provides the opportunity to share your recommendation for specific resources or to see what resources others have found helpful. Please help me in continuing to share the work and knowledge of NCFR members and CFLEs by contributing to, and accessing the Professional Resource Library.

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