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: 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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Pierre Bourdieu on education: Habitus, capital, and field. Reproduction in the practice of education

contents: introduction • Pierre Bourdieu – life • habitus • field • capital • exploring reproduction • developing practice • conclusion • references and further reading • acknowledgements • how to cite this piece Pierre Bourdieu’s exploration of how the social order is reproduced, and inequality persists across generations, is more pertinent than ever. We examine some […]

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 […]

Tom Bryan: association, education and the making of Fircroft College

Tom Bryan pioneered the adaptation of Folk High Schools to English adult education at Fircroft College and argued that solidarity and the facility for association lay at the heart of educational endeavour. contents: introduction · early career · woodbrooke and fircroft · conclusion · bibliography · how to cite this article Tom Bryan (1865-1917) was […]

Calling and informal education

Calling and informal education. The notion of calling, once rather unfashionable, has re-emerged as an organizing idea within education. Michele Erina Doyle examines calling and vocation, and sets them in particular within Christian discourse. She argues that fulfilling our calling as informal educators means we work with others for the processes of knowing, testing, naming, […]

Mary Carpenter, reformatory schools and education

Mary Carpenter, reformatory schools and education. Mary Carpenter’s path-breaking work on the experiences of children in trouble – and the education that should be offered them was a landmark in nineteenth-century educational and social analysis. Her realism, tolerance, and good humour struck a particularly liberal note. We explore the main principles and methods of her […]

Christian youth work: evangelism or social action?

Carole Pugh raises questions about evangelical approaches to youth work and argues for informal education practice. contents: emerging themes · motivation · purpose · conversion as purpose · a broader approach · christian relational care · spiritual development · an informal education approach ·  case studies · conclusions · references · acknowledgements  ·how to cite this […]

Revd. Philip (Tubby) Clayton and Toc H

Revd. Philip (Tubby) Clayton and Toc H. Philip (‘Tubby’) Clayton was Vicar of All Hallows by the Tower. However, he was best known for his work initially as an army chaplain during the First World War and in particular the establishment of Talbot House a unique place of rest and sanctuary for British troops. After […]

Citizenship, youth work and democratic renewal

Citizenship, youth work and democratic renewal. Tony Jeffs examines current and historic concerns with citizenship within British youth work and the direction of government policy. He argues that informal educators must be wary of pseudo-democracy and work to cultivate small pockets of genuine deliberate democracy wherein citizenship survives and from which it will range forth. […]

Civil society

Civil society. Civil society is much talked about, but rarely understood. Michael Edwards explores the practical and theoretical significance of civil society – and suggests some ways through the issues surrounding its use. Contents: introduction · the civil society puzzle · civil society – gaining some clarity · civil society as associational life · civil […]

Coffee houses and informal education

 Mid sevententh century coffee house, Wikimedia Commons pd The first coffee house appeared in 1650 and they became major forces in learning. Coffee houses, as forums for debate and discussion, played an important part in the general diffusion of knowledge and ideas (Kelly 1970: 82). The first is said to have appeared in Oxford in […]

What is community?

Community. What is community and why should educators be concerned with it? We explore the development of theory around community, and the significance of boundaries, social networks and social norms – and why attention to social capital and communion may be important. contents: approaching the theory of community · community and boundary · community and […]

Offering community 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 community 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 • friendship • social capital • associational life […]

What is community development?

What is community development? The idea of community development grew, in large part, out of the activities of colonial administrators. We examine this legacy and the theory and practice that emerged. We also look to the body of overlapping ideas, including community participation, community organization and community work. In this piece we suggest that community […]

Reclaiming the radical agenda: a critical approach to community development

In this piece Margaret Ledwith argues we need to be be vigilant about changes in the political context and to get better at weaving theory into our practice. We need to be able to explain why we are doing what we are doing at any stage of the community development process, and so creating knowledge-in-action […]

James Gustave Speth, green jazz, social jazz and community development

‘Just doing it’  – not waiting upon national governments and international organizations to take action – has led to a remarkable outpouring of initiatives around the global environmental crisis. We explore James Gustave Speth’s vision of unscripted, voluntary initiatives that are decentralized and improvisational – what he calls ‘jazz’ – and the possibilities for community […]

Sustainable communities and neighbourhoods. theory, policy and practice

In recent years there has been much talk of the need for sustainable communities. But what is a sustainable community? Why do neighbourhoods matter and why is sustainability important? What are the implications of debates around sustainability for community policy and practice? contents: introduction · the background · sustainable communities · sprawl · livable, enduring […]

Community education: being a description of the work of residential and non-residential colleges for adult education

Maryport Educational Settlement This 1938 publication from the Educational Settlements Association provides a useful overview of activity at that time. contents: preface · introduction · community education · the association · the residential colleges · educational settlements in normal areas · educational settlements in special areas · examples of courses · membership of the esa […]

community organization

What is community organization? A review and booklist. contents: introduction · the importance of the group · community organization · the radical turn · current practice · further reading and references · links It is difficult to point to particular moments in time and say this is where the concerns that we now label community […]

Community studies

Over the years a distinctive body of literature has developed around ‘community studies’. Individual contributions tend to fall across disciplinary boundaries – some are labelled as sociology, some as anthropology, and yet others as geography or urban studies. What follows is a quick guide to the literature and an attempt to bring out some key […]

What is community work?

What is community work? How has it developed in the UK? What is it’s current state? We review thinking and practice in the field of community work, and question the direction it is currently taking. contents: introduction · the emergence of community work · the gulbenkian report: community work and social change · the community […]

Conscientization

Here we have listed some key texts that develop or explore ‘conscientization’. The idea has been linked with the work of Paulo Freire and Pedagogy of the Oppressed – although Freire used to claim that he had not used the term since the early 1970s as it had been badly misused (Taylor 1993: 52). However, […]

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 […]

Developing youth work: Informal education, mutual aid and popular practice

Developing Youth Work (1988) was an attempt to construct a coherent and distinctive understanding of youth work. It looked to informal education and association (mutual aid) as the core of the work, and argued that the youth service was in terminal decline. We publish the complete book. Contents preface introduction chapter 1: enter youth workers […]

Developing youth work: Preface

This book began life in 1982 as an attempt to construct a coherent and distinctive understanding of youth work. While it would be nice to claim that the thinking reported in these pages has matured and developed through constant reflection over the intervening years, the truth is that it has had a stuttering existence, competing […]

Developing youth work: Introduction

So much of what is said about youth work either seeks to conceal or is the product of lazy or rhetorical thinking. The ahistorical, apolitical and anti-intellectual attitude of many in this area has meant that practice is peculiarly prone to influence by moral panics, fads and fashions. As such, the work is further threatened […]

Developing youth work: Chapter 1 – Enter youth workers

contents: introduction · little ladies at home · the making of modern leisure · threats from within and without · psychology – the final piece of the jigsaw · the new provision · there will be drill · ennobling their class · bourgeois youth work · further reading and references This chapter has a strong focus […]