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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Casework and the Charity Organization Society

Casework and the Charity Organization Society. Founded in 1869, the Charity Organization Society (COS) made a deep impact on social work through its advocacy and codification of emerging methods. This, with its focus on the family, and upon a scientific approach provided a key foundation for the development of social work as profession in Britain. […]

Too few, too many: The retreat from vocation and calling

Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash Tony Jeffs examines some of the uncomfortable questions raised by Victoria Climbie’s murder and subsequent policy responses around the training, recruitment and management of welfare professionals including informal educators such as youth workers and community educators. In particular he argues that face-to-face work has been devalued and constrained; policymakers […]

Mark Smith: Creators not consumers. Rediscovering social education

Written by Mark Smith, Creators not Consumers first appeared in 1980. We reproduce the complete text Two main themes run through Creators not Consumers. First, there is a concern to encourage young people to get involved in organizing things for themselves. This flows from a belief in the benefits of associational life both for the […]

Mark Smith: Creators not consumers. Introduction

The introduction to Mark Smith’s exploration of youth work and social education – Creators not Consumers. Rediscovering social education (1982). This booklet has been written to promote discussion about social education. In the twenty years or so since the term first came into common usage there have been a number of developments in youth work […]

Mark Smith: Creators not consumers. Chapter 1 – The ice skating trip

Chapter 1 of Mark Smith’s exploration of youth work and informal education – Creators not Consumers. Rediscovering social education (1982) Just after club had finished Neil came into the office and asked if we could organise an ice skating trip. He thought we could easily fill a coach if we charged £1.50 per person. How […]

Mark Smith: Creators not consumers. Chapter 2 – What the workers did

Chapter 2 of Mark Smith’s exploration of youth work and social education – Creators not Consumers. Rediscovering social education (1982). contents: · breaking down events ·  opportunism ·  learning by experience ·  being participative ·  the social context ·  conclusion · [page 12] The skating trip gives us a flavour of what social education might mean […]

Mark Smith: Creators not consumers. Chapter 3- Rediscovering social education

Chapter 3 of Mark Smith’s exploration of youth work and social education –  Creators not Consumers. Rediscovering social education (1982). contents: · developmental needs · values · conclusion · [page 24] So far we have been looking at a form of youth work that puts learning first. In this chapter I want to ask what makes […]

Mark Smith: Creators not consumers. Chapter 4: Social education and politics

Chapter 4 of Mark Smith’s exploration of youth work and social education – Creators not Consumers. Rediscovering social education (1982). contents: the politics of developmental needs· what should workers do?· conclusion [page 34] Whilst many of the young people we work with face incredible injustices, are ignorant of their rights and are racist and sexist, our […]

Mark Smith: Creators not consumers. Afterword – Towards a critical social education?

The conclusion  of Mark Smith’s exploration of youth work and social education – Creators not Consumers. Rediscovering social education (1982). [page 55] Looking back over the last chapter one word seems to spring out from the pages — the word critical. Its arrival is no accident. Three meanings of the word join together and make […]

Mark Smith: Creators not consumers. Further reading

From Mark Smith’s exploration of youth work and social education – Creators not Consumers. Rediscovering social education (1982). [page 57] I have only listed books or articles that I feel are particularly helpful. Anybody who wants detailed references should contact me c/o NAYC Publications. 1. Bernard Davies : Part-time Youth Work in an Industrial Community […]

Dialogue and conversation for learning, education and change

Dialogue and conversation  for learning, education and change. ‘Dialogue’, Freire says, ‘is the encounter between men, mediated by the world, in order to name the world’. Here we explore this idea – and its roots. Contents: introduction · Gadamer – horizons of understanding · emotions and virtues · Habermas: dialogue, power and distortion · Bohm on […]

Encounters for learning, education and change

Encounters for learning and change. Pedagogues, animators and informal educators work for encounters – face to face meetings. They also work for encounter – relation or engagement with themselves and others. Contents: · seeking situations of co-presence · co-ordinating activities · encounter and personal growth · encounter and relation · further reading · how to […]

Evaluation for education, learning and change – theory and practice

Evaluation  for education, learning and change – theory and practice. Evaluation is part and parcel of educating – yet it can be experienced as a burden and an unnecessary intrusion. We explore the theory and practice of evaluation and some of the key issues for informal and community educators, social pedagogues youth workers and others. In […]

Erich Fromm: freedom and alienation, and loving and being in education

Erich Fromm: freedom and alienation, and loving and being in education. Erich Fromm was both a practicing psychoanalyst and a committed and insightful social theorist. We explore his continuing relevance to educational practice and focus on his deeply instructive appreciation of freedom, love and human flourishing. Contents: introduction · erich fromm – his life · […]

Helping

Pages exploring the theory and practice of helping Introducing helping What do we mean by helping – and what is its relationship to informal education, counselling and teaching? Explore helping relationships. The art of helping others The art of helping others: A set of support pages for the book by Heather Smith and Mark K. Smith. […]

Helping relationships – principles, theory and practice

Helping relationships – principles, theory and practice. In this article we explore the nature of helping relationships – particularly as practised within the social professions and informal education. We also examine some key questions that arise in the process of helping others. In particular, we focus on the person of the helper. Contents: introduction · […]

Octavia Hill, housing and social reform

Octavia Hill, housing and social reform. Octavia Hill (1838-1912) made a defining contribution to the development of a more enlightened approach to the provision and management of housing for working people. Her championship of playgrounds, the army cadet corps and access to common lands and the countryside more broadly were also important. In this piece, […]

Writing and keeping journals. A guide for educators and social practitioners

Writing and keeping journals. A guide for educators and social practitioners. Educators are often encouraged to write journals – especially when they are training – but what does journal writing entail, what benefits can it bring, and how can we go about writing one? Contents: introduction · what is a journal? · the benefits of […]

Josephine Klein, group work, youth work and exploring English cultures

Josephine Klein, group work, youth work and exploring English cultures. Josephine Klein was one of the first British-based practitioners to explore group process and working with groups systematically. She also went on to complete a landmark study of family and community life and develop a distinctive approach to youth work training before becoming a psychotherapist. […]

‘Leadership and spirituality…minus the loaves and fishes’

When you hear the word ‘leadership’ you may find yourself bombarded with images of the likes of Shackleton or Hunt battling against the odds, men of great achievements and, undoubtedly, great examples of good leadership. However, is this what we mean by leadership in today’s society? Is leadership meant only for those on adventurous endeavours? […]

Learning mentors and informal education

Learning mentors became part of the life of many schools in England. What were, and are, they doing? What issues face them? As part of the Excellence in Cities (EiC) Initiative, the Department for Education and Employment in England, initiated what it described as an action plan to ‘raise standards, tackle failure and create a […]

Mentoring and young people

Blackpool – Like Ellis Craven on Unsplash There was been a mushrooming of youth mentoring projects across the UK. Yet relatively little was known in the UK about the background to the idea and the principles underlying mentoring initiatives. Kate Philip investigates. contents: introduction ·the context ·the background · what is mentoring? · conclusions · […]

Maria Montessori and education

Maria Montessori and education. First the education of the senses, then the education of the intellect – Montessori’s vision and ‘method’ are still popular. Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952). Maria Montessori was the first woman in Italy to qualify as a physician. She developed an interest in the diseases of children and in the needs […]

Nel Noddings, the ethics of care and education

Nel Noddings, the ethics of care and education, Nel Noddings is well known for her work around the ethics of caring, however, she has also added significantly to theory and practice more broadly in education. Here we explore her contribution. contents: introduction · nel noddings – life · caring · caring, schooling and education · […]

Marie Paneth: Branch Street, the Windemere children, art and pedagogy

Marie Paneth (1895-1986) was a talented painter, art therapist and pedagogue. Her book, Branch Street, is a classic examination of community-based work with children. In this piece, Mark K Smith explores her work and continuing relevance. Contents: introduction • early life and family • New York • London and Branch Street • The Windemere Children and […]

Ellen Ranyard (“LNR”), Bible women and informal education

Ellen Ranyard (“LNR”), Bible women and informal education. Known for using innovative methods, Ellen Raynard brought about the first group of paid social workers in England and pioneered the first district nursing programme in London. Contents: introduction · Bible women · Bible nurses · management and organization · conclusion · further reading and references Let […]

Relationship, learning and education

Relationship, learning and education. What is a relationship, and what special qualities are present in social pedagogy and informal education? We suggest that the focus on learning, mutuality and the emotional bond between people are important features of the sorts of relationships that social pedagogues and informal educators are involved in. Contents: introduction · relationship […]

Relationship: learning, mutuality and emotional bonds

Relationship: learning, mutuality and emotional bonds. What is a relationship, and what special qualities are present in in community learning and development, informal education and social pedagogy? We suggest that the focus on learning, mutuality and the emotional bond between people are important features of the sorts of relationships that educators and animateurs like these […]

Carl Rogers, core conditions and education

Carl Rogers, core conditions and education. Best known for his contribution to client-centered therapy and his role in the development of counselling, Rogers also had much to say about education and group work. contents: introduction · core conditions · carl rogers on education · rogers’ influence · further reading and references · links · how […]

Jean-Jacques Rousseau on nature, wholeness and education

Jean-Jacques Rousseau – wikipedia commons – pd Jean-Jacques Rousseau on nature, wholeness and education. His novel Émile was the most significant book on education after Plato’s Republic, and his other work had a profound impact on political theory and practice, romanticism and the development of the novel. We explore Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s life and contribution. contents: […]

What is sanctuary? How can we offer it to children and young people in schools and local organizations?

Mark K Smith explores how, in the context of the ‘new normal’, educators, pedagogues and practitioners need to offer sanctuary to children and young people. This article is part of a series: dealing with the new normal • offering sanctuary • offering community • offering hope] contents: introduction • what is sanctuary • sanctuary – space from • […]

Social pedagogy: the development of theory and practice

Social pedagogy: the development of theory and practice. The term social pedagogy has been used to describe a range of work straddling social work and education. Often more holistic and group-oriented than dominant forms of social work and schooling, social pedagogy (sozial pädagogik) has its roots in German progressive education – and is sometimes translated […]

The functions of supervision

The functions of supervision. Examining the different functions of supervision throws up various questions and issues. These questions include asking ‘in whose interest does supervision work?’ Confusion also arises concerning notions such as ‘mentoring’, ‘practice teaching’ and ‘clinical supervision’. Here we explore Alfred Kadushin’s model of supervision and the insights it brings to these questions. […]

M. Joan Tash, youth work and the development of professional supervision

Joan Tash made a lasting contribution to our understanding of the process of youth work and informal education. She pioneered the use of supervision; deepened our appreciation of detached and project-based youth work; and made a number of innovations in the training and development of youth workers and informal educators. contents: introduction · life · […]

Youth mentoring in perspective

Jean E. Rhodes explores the experience of some different youth mentoring programs and concludes that not all approaches to mentoring are equal in impact.. She argues that mentoring programs are not a substitute for a caring family, community support, or a concerted youth policy agenda and that we should ensure that mentor programs are adequately […]