What is action research and how do we do it?

Action research. In this article we explore the development of some different traditions of action research and provide an introductory guide to the literature. contents: what is action research? · origins · the decline and rediscovery of action research · undertaking action research · conclusion · further reading · how to cite this article. see, also: […]

Jane Addams and informal education

Jane Addams and informal education. Well known for her work at Hull House, Addams made a seminal contribution to the development of settlement houses and social work in north America. to be extended Jane Addams (1869-1935) is, perhaps, best known as a pioneering social worker and social activist, however she was also a committed internationalist […]

Jane Addams: Socialized education

Jane Addams’ (1910) discussion of the educational contribution of social settlements – Chapter XVIII of Twenty Years at Hull House, New York: Macmillan. Jane Addams (1869-1935) is, perhaps, best known as a pioneering social worker and social activist, however she was also a committed internationalist and critical intellectual. She introduced and developed the idea of […]

Jane Addams: The subjective necessity for social settlements

This important piece exploring the motives of settlement house workers by Jane Addams was first published in 1892 and later appeared as chapter six of Twenty Years at Hull House (1910). contents: preface · the subjective necessity for social settlements · how to cite this piece Jane Addams (1869-1935) is, perhaps, best known as a […]

Theodor W. Adorno on education

Theodor W. Adorno on education. Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) is one of the key thinkers of critical social theory. Beyond his writings on philosophy and sociology he formulated interesting analyses around education. As Christian Spatscheck argues in this piece, his ideas are still relevant for today’s (informal) educators. contents : introduction · life · adorno’s […]

What is adult education?

What is adult education? Is adult education a practice or a program? A methodology or an organization? A ‘science’ or a system? A process or a profession? See also: What is education? A definition and discussion Is adult education a practice or a program? A methodology or an organization? A ‘science’ or a system? A process […]

Adult education and lifelong learning – southern critiques and alternatives

Adult education and lifelong learning – southern critiques and alternatives. What can northern educators learn from the experience of the south? A review and introductory reading list. Contents: context · resisting colonialism · respecting local forms · looking to the whole rather than the individual · implications for the north  · references · how to […]

Adult Education Committee (1919) Voluntary organizations and adult education

Chapter VII of the famous 1919 Report on adult education. [page 112] 202. It will not, we think, be denied that adult non-vocational education has owed its main inspiration and the success it has attained to voluntary organisations of various kinds, and particularly those established for educational purposes. Whilst we frankly recognise the part which […]

Adult schools and the making of adult education

Adult schools and the making of adult education. The adult school movement starting in the late 1790s, while for most of the time only small in numbers, was a significant element in the making of adult education in Britain. This article briefly surveys the history and impact of such schools. contents: introduction · the emergence […]

Adult schools: The organization of the class – J. Wilhelm Rowntree and Henry Bryan Binns

Westminster Friends Meeting House on St Martin’s Avenue had its own adult school with an entrance on Hop Alley In this (1903) piece J. Wilhelm Rowntree and Henry Bryan Binns examine the nature of teaching in adult schools in the early twentieth century and recognize the significance of democracy, fellowship and ‘systematic husbandry’. contents: preface […]

The Albemarle Report: the youth service yesterday and today

The Albemarle Report (1960) provided youth work in England and Wales with a very influential rationale and framework – and was a key element in substantially increasing funding for youth work. Here we reproduce Chapter 1 of the report. contents: preface · history · present machinery · what it costs · present aims · assessment […]

the albemarle report: justification and aims of the youth service

The Albemarle Report (1960) provided youth work in England and Wales with a very influential rationale and framework – and was a key element in substantially increasing funding for youth work. Here we reproduce Chapter 3 of the report. contents: preface · introduction · justification · aims and ideals · principles and practice The Committee […]

The Albemarle Report: activities and facilities

The Albemarle Report (1960) provided youth work in England and Wales with a very influential rationale and framework – and was a key element in substantially increasing funding for youth work. Here we reproduce Chapter 5 of the report. contents: preface · introduction · activities · association · training · challenge · facilities · premises […]

The Albemarle Report: recommendations and priorities

The Albemarle Report (1960) provided youth work in England and Wales with a very influential rationale and framework – and was a key element in substantially increasing funding for youth work. Here we reproduce the report’s main recommendations and priorities (originally Chapter 10 of the report). The Committee responsible for this report was chaired by […]

Saul Alinsky, community organizing and rules for radicals

Saul Alinsky, community organizing and rules for radicals. Saul Alinsky’s work is an important reference point for thinking about community organizing and community development. His books Reveille for Radicals (1946) and Rules for Radicals (1971) were both classic explorations of organizing and remain popular today. Mike Seal examines Alinsky’s continuing relevance to the activities of […]

Andragogy: what is it and does it help thinking about adult learning?

Andragogy: what is it and does it help thinking about adult learning? The notion of andragogy has been around for nearly two centuries. It became particularly popular in North America and Britain as a way of describing adult learning through the work of Malcolm Knowles. But what actually does it mean, and how useful a […]

Animate, care, educate – the core processes of pedagogy

Animate, care, educate – the core processes of pedagogy. Pedagogy can be viewed as a process of accompanying people and bringing flourishing and relationship to life (animation); caring for, and about, people (caring); and drawing out learning (education). Here Mark K Smith explores these core processes. contents: introducing pedagogy • accompanying • core processes • […]

Animateurs, animation, learning and change

Animateurs, animation, learning and change. Animation means, literally, to breathe life into some thing. A transformation is involved, what was still now moves. But what place does animation have in stimulating learning and change? What do animateurs do? Where are animateurs to be found? contents: introduction · some models for starters · animateurs in France […]

Hannah Arendt and Jean Baudrillard: pedagogy in the consumer society

Hannah Arendt and Jean Baudrillard: pedagogy in the consumer society. Trevor Norris explores the contribution of Hannah Arendt and Jean Baudrillard to our appreciation of the consumer society and education. Contents: introduction · the rise of consumerism · Hannah Arendt: consuming the polis · Jean Baudrillard: consuming signs · the consumer society and education · […]

Chris Argyris: theories of action, double-loop learning and organizational learning

Chris Argyris: theories of action, double-loop learning and organizational learning. The work of Chris Argyris (1923-2013) has influenced thinking about the relationship of people and organizations, organizational learning and action research. Here we examine some key aspects of his thinking. contents: introduction · life · theories of action: theory in use and espoused theory · […]

Aristotle and education

Aristotle, The Louvre Wikipedia | ccby sa2 licence Aristotle and education. We only have scraps of his work, but his influence on educational thinking has been of fundamental importance. Aristotle (384 – 322 BC). Aristotle’s work was wide-ranging – yet our knowledge of him is necessarily fragmented. Only around 20 per cent of his written […]

What can education learn from the arts about the practice of education?

Elliot W. Eisner argues that the distinctive forms of thinking needed to create artistically crafted work are relevant not only to what students do, they are relevant to virtually all aspects of what we do, from the design of curricula, to the practice of teaching, to the features of the environment in which students and […]

Association, democracy and civil society

A set of pages exploring civil society, civic participation, the development of community and association, and the activities of educators and animateurs. ‘The strength of free peoples resides in the local community. Local institutions are to liberty what primary schools are to science; they put it within the people’s reach; they teach people to appreciate […]

Association, la vie associative and lifelong learning

Association, la vie associative and lifelong learning: we explore the process of joining together in companionship or to undertake some task – and the educative power of playing one’s part in a group or association. contents : introduction · the significance of local institutions and associations · the decline of associational activity · la vie associative […]

The impact of austerity on schools and children’s education and well-being

The impact of austerity on schools and children’s education and well-being. Cutbacks in government-sponsored services, growing inequality and falling real wages, and changes in housing and income support are impacting upon the lives of children and creating major challenges for schools and colleges in the UK. Mark K Smith explores some key areas of concern […]

Seeking out the gift of authenticity

Seeking out the gift of authenticity: Heather Smith argues that developments in youth work are undermining authentic relationship. She suggests that if we do prize relationships over targets and do truly care about the people we encounter, it is possible to take personal responsibility to seek out the gift of authenticity. contents: introduction · the […]

Robert Baden-Powell as an educational innovator

Robert Baden-Powell as an educational innovator. Famous for his contribution to the development of Scouting, Robert Baden-Powell was also able to make several educational innovations. His interest in adventure, association and leadership still repay attention today. contents: introduction ·the early development of scouting · Robert Baden-Powell and ‘doing good’ · citizenship, taking responsibility and participation […]

Robert Freed Bales, group observation and interaction processes

Robert Freed Bales, group observation and interaction processes. R. F. Bales pioneered the development of systematic methods of group observation and measurement of interaction processes. In this brief article we survey his contribution. contents : introduction · group observation and interaction processes · conclusion · references · how to cite this piece Robert Freed Bales […]

Thomas John Barnardo (‘the doctor’) and his work with children and young people

Thomas John Barnardo (‘the doctor’). Dr. Thomas John Barnardo was what we might now call an extraordinary ‘social entrepreneur’. But who was he and what did he achieve? He was well known for his homes and training schemes, but what was his contribution to the development of youth work and social work practice? contents: introduction […]

Leonard J. Barnes and youth work

Leonard J. Barnes and youth work. L. J. Barnes championed experimentation, facilitation and spontaneity in youth work – and criticized inculcation. We explore his thinking and impact. contents: introduction · leonard barnes – life and work · leonard barnes on the purpose of youth work · youth work and spontaneity · character-building or growing personality? […]

Henrietta Barnett, social reform and community building

Henrietta Barnett, social reform and community building. Henrietta Barnett is, perhaps, best known for the development of Hampstead Garden suburb, but she – with Samuel Barnett – was an important social reformer. Their most notable innovation was the university settlement – but they were also active in other arenas. contents: introduction and life · toynbee […]

What has the Charity Organisation Society to do with social reform? Henrietta Barnett

Might not — may not charitable effort be organised to remove some of the social conditions which stand as barriers to prevent, or anyhow make it painfully difficult for … people to live the highest, fullest, richest life? A Paper read at a meeting of members of the Charity Organisation Society, held at the Kensington […]

Leonard Barnett and the church youth club

Leonard Barnett and the church youth club. Leonard P. Barnett was a key figure in the development of youth work within the Methodist Church. He also wrote two classic texts on youth clubs that provide workers with a coherent and informed basis for their work fostering learning, fellowship and the more abundant life. contents: introduction […]

Leonard Barnett – Responsible people

Leonard Barnett explores the importance of fellowship, association and self-government in the church youth club. Chapter 6 of Adventures with Youth, London: Methodist Association of Youth Clubs, 1962. contents: preface · introduction · basic needs · the need for fellowship · responsible people · questions Leonard P. Barnett was a key figure in the development […]

Practictable socialism – Samuel A. Barnett

Facing, then, the whole position, we see that among the majority of Englishmen life is poor; that among the few life is made rich. The thoughts stored in books, the beauty rescued from nature and preserved in pictures, the intercourse made possible by means of steam loco­motion, stir powers in the few which lie asleep […]

T. R.(Reg) Batten and Madge Batten, non-directivity and community development

T. R.(Reg) Batten and Madge Batten, non-directivity and community development: The Battens, and particularly T. R. or Reg, introduced the revolutionary concept of non-directivity to the newly emerging discipline of community development in the second part of the 20th century. George Lovell describes their work and lives, and explores the origins of the non-directive concept […]

Jean Baudrillard and educational practice

Jean Baudrillard. Jean Baudrillard’s radical questioning of the character of signs, symbols and simulation in our postmodern age points towards the necessity to reconsider the role of contemporary educational practices as a possible site of resistance to the ‘code’. Trevor Norris investigates. Contents: jean baudrillard · further reading and bibliography · links · how to […]

Steve Biko and informal and community education

Steve Biko and informal and community education. Steve Biko is remembered as a founder and martyr of the Black consciousness movement in South Africa. Here Barry Burke assesses his significance for informal and community educators. contents: introduction · steve biko on education · conclusion · bibliography · how to cite this article Steve Biko (1946-1977) […]

Augusto Boal, animation and education

Augusto Boal at Riverside Church in New York City 2008. Picture by Jonathan McIntosh Augusto Boal, animation and education. Known for his work around forum theatre and the theatre of the oppressed, Boal has interesting things to say about animation and education Temporary page In Boal’s work around forum theatre, invisible theatre and the theatre […]

Sissela Bok on lying and moral choice in private and public life – an amplification

Sissela Bok on lying and moral choice in private and public life – an amplification. Robert K. Fullinwider explores and amplifies Sissela Bok’s seminal work: Lying: Moral Choice in Private and Public Life (1978). Lying remains in print today, nearly thirty years after its initial publication, and is widely used in the classroom. Its continuing […]

Murray Bookchin: social anarchism, ecology and education

Murray Bookchin: social anarchism, ecology and education. Murray Bookchin made a significant contribution to the development of thinking around ecology, anarchism and later communalism. As a result he helped to shape the anti-globalization movement – and has continuing relevance for informal educators and those seeking to foster more convivial forms of learning. Mike Wood explores […]

Charles Booth – mapping the impact of poverty and acting to improve things

Charles Booth, The Wellcome Collection ccby4 licence Charles Booth’s work in gathering data around poverty and wealth, both deepened the processes of social research and extended the attention given to it. He made a lasting contribution to the analysis of poverty and the development of government intervention to improve the situation faced by many. Charles […]

St. John Bosco – An exhortation to educators

Letter from St. John Bosco to his Salesians, from Rome, May 10, 1884 outlining the place of friendship, relationship and recreation in his ‘preventative’ approach. contents: preface · an exhortation to educators · how to cite this piece Don Bosco (1815-1888) was a talented educator and animateur. He was particularly concerned with the needs of […]

David Brandon – homelessness, advocacy and mental health, and zen in the art of helping

David Brandon – homelessness, advocacy and mental health, and zen in the art of helping. In this article we examine David Brandon’s seminal contribution to our understanding of the experience of homelessness and mental health problems, and his insights into the nature of advocacy and the helping process. We draw out some lessons for informal […]

Josephine Macalister Brew, youth work and informal education

One of the most ‘able, wise and sympathetic educationalists of her generation’, Josephine Macalister Brew made a profound contribution to the development of thinking about, and practice of, youth work and informal education. contents: introduction · life ·  in the service of youth · informal education · innovations in practice· final days · references · […]