The Missouri 4-H recognition and awards program provides appropriate recognition to meet the individualized needs of all 4-H members. The program was developed using the National 4-H Recognition Model.

National 4-H Recognition Model

Recognition is a significant incentive to further learning. Recognition properly designed and used can inspire young people to continue participating and learning. Young people become active in 4-H because they benefit personally; thus, the focus should be on what they gain from the program and not on the program or organization itself. Young people make choices depending on their need for security, new experiences, response or recognition.

Recognition must be continually revised to meet the needs of individual participants. Individual progress must be recognized and individual enthusiasm must be encouraged. There is no one-way of encouraging and supporting young people. Young people come from varied backgrounds and with different experiences. Their interests, values, needs, attitudes and aspirations vary.

For some young people, intrinsic or internal recognition is far more powerful than any extrinsic or external recognition. Motivation is determined by a complex blend of environment, attitude and self-concept. This is what energizes a person and directs individual activity.

The national model for recognition provides a balanced approach that encourages a variety of forms of recognition to meet the diverse needs and interests of today's youth.

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    Recognition purposes

    • Recognition can be a motivator for some young people to excel and take risks.
    • Recognition can foster self-appraisal skills, providing a strong foundation for each young person to engage in self-reflection and self-evaluation without the need for external rewards.
    • Recognition can encourage and support the efforts of young people as they engage in individualize learning, peer competition or cooperation.
    • Recognition, used in all its forms, can provide balance to the recognition young people receive as they move through our educational programs to increasingly difficult challenges.
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    Beliefs about recognition

    The National 4-H Recognition Model is a dynamic model for planning, implementing and developing 4-H programs. Several beliefs underlie the principles of the model:

    • Recognition is a basic human need with security, new experiences and responses.
    • Recognition should be a part of all 4-H learning experiences.
    • Appropriate recognition takes many forms.
    • Respect for individual differences is essential.
    • Recognition must be structures to build self-confidence.
    • Opportunities for self-assessment and reflection allow young people to learn.
    • A range of opportunities and challenges provide choices to meet individual needs.
    • Adult support is essential in youth learning and recognition.
    • Everyone should be recognized at some level.
    • A balance between all elements of the model is essential.
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    National 4-H Recognition Model Design Team. (1993). National 4-H Recognition Model. Washington, D.C.: Families, 4-H and Nutrition, United States Department of Agriculture.

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