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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

How to do a community audit: building profiles using neighbourhood statistics

On this page we suggest some basic and quick steps you can undertake a community audit, and gather information about a particular neighbourhood in Britain or Northern Ireland. contents: introducing community audits and profiles · quick statistical profile · census material · local authority statistics and other material · crime · other searches · your […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Contactpoint – because every child matters?

Server farm by sugree on flickr ContactPoint is an online database which contains basic information about every child and young person in England from birth to their 18th birthday. David Hoyle explores the nature of the system – and the critisicisms made of it. He asks is the scale of the threat to children and […]

Grace Coyle and group work

Grace Coyle and group work. Grace Coyle made an extraordinary contribution to our understanding of group work. She was also an important advocate for the work within US social work and an innovatory trainer. Contents: introduction · on group work · conclusion · bibliography · how to cite this article. Grace Longwell Coyle (1892-1962) made […]

Problematizing every child matters

Every Child Matters was an English government paper that grew into a wide-ranging and influential strategy for work with children and young people. David Hoyle reviews the statement and resulting strategy, and critiques it. He reveals some profound difficulties for those it touches – especially informal educators. contents: introduction · the genesis of every child […]

Full-service schooling

Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash The idea of full-service schooling aroused considerable interest. In the United States a range of initiatives were taken; and it has been considered as a serious policy option in Britain and Australia. But what is it and what issues surround it? contents: introduction · what is a full-service school? […]

George Goetschius, community development and detached youth work

Known for his part in establishing the English Stage Company, the American sociologist George W. Goetschius also made a key contribution to deepening the thinking and practice of community development and detached youth work. We explore his work and life. contents: introduction · life ·  working with unattached youth · working with community groups · conclusion ·  further reading and references · […]

What is a group?

What is a group? How are we to approach groups? In this article we review the development of theory about groups. We look at some different definitions of groups, and some of the key dimensions to bear in mind when thinking about them. contents: introduction · the development of thinking about groups · defining ‘group’ […]

What is group work?

What is group work? While many practitioners may describe what they do as ‘group work’, they often have only a limited appreciation of what group work is and what it entails. In this piece we introduce groups and group work, define some key aspects, and suggest areas for exploration. In particular we focus on the […]

Social groupwork: formulation of a method, 1920-1936

In this important (1981) piece Kenneth E. Reid explores a pivotal time in the development of the theory and practice of working with groups within social work. He assesses the contribution of Grace Coyle, W. I. Newstetter and other key figures and reflects on the emergence of ‘social group work’. Contents: preface · introduction · […]

Group work – expansion and professionalism 1937 – 1955

In this important (1981) piece Kenneth E. Reid explores how group work was increasingly presented as part of social work (as against informal education and recreation) and the fascinating process of delineating its boundaries. Contents:  introduction · developments in social work · beginning of a professional organization · search for a definition · separation of group […]

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, […]

What is hope? 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 hope 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 hope? • being hopeful • building hope […]

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. […]

Gisela Konopka and group work

Gisela Konopka and group work. Gisela Konopka (1910-2003) made a profound contribution to the development of social group work and the deepening of practice with children and young people. In this paper Janice Andrews charts Gisela Konopka’s life and assesses her work. contents: introduction · early years · move to the united states · minnesota […]

Mehrgenerationenhäuser – multi-generational meeting houses – animation, care and pedagogy

Mehrgenerationenhäuser – multi-generational meeting houses – are attracting growing interest outside their home in Germany. In this piece we examine what they are, how they function, and their relevance to some key issues faced by local communities – in particular around ageing. We will also look at the role of social pedagogues within them and […]

Hannah More: Sunday schools, education and youth work

Hannah More: Sunday schools, education and youth work. Hannah More was initially famous for her play writing and involvement in ‘blue stocking’ circles. Later her evangelicalism led her to philanthropy, writing popular religious tracts and to pioneering work in Sunday Schools. Here we examine her contribution and her involvement in the development of youth work. […]

Dealing with the ‘new normal’. Offering sanctuary, community and hope 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 work to create the conditions for education, learning and change. This article is part of a series: dealing with the new normal • offering sanctuary • offering community • offering hope] contents: introduction • dealing with the new […]

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 · […]

Alexander Paterson, youth work and prison reform

Alexander Paterson, youth work and prison reform. Alexander Paterson (1884-1947) had a profound influence on social policy in Britain. Now remembered as a prison reformer, he was also a key figure in the establishment of TOC H and an influential figure in boys’ club work. Paterson’s book Across the Bridges (1911) was also an important […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 • […]

Jane Elizabeth Senior and work with girls and young women

Jane Elizabeth Senior and work with girls and young women. Jane Senior (1828-1877) (also known as Mrs Nassau Senior) was the first woman civil servant (the inspector of workhouses). She was also an important social reformer – helping to found the British Red Cross, the Girls’ Friendly Society and the Metropolitan Association for Befriending Young […]

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 […]

Maude Stanley, girls’ clubs and district visiting

Maude Stanley, girls’ clubs and district visiting. A youth work pioneer who produced an early comprehensive youth work text – and helped to found the London Union of Girls Clubs. Contents: introduction · work around the Five Dials · the Soho Club · clubs for girls · conclusion · further reading and references · how […]

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. […]

Using informal education An alternative to casework, teaching and control?

contents 1. using informal education – Tony Jeffs and Mark Smith 2. personality and curriculum – Anne Foreman 3. informal education in residential care with adults – Mal Blackburn and Don Blackburn 4. informal education with young women in the community – Glynis Francis 5. informal education – a place in the new school curriculum?  […]

Using informal education – Chapter 1: using informal education

contents: informal education and other educational forms · characteristics of informal education · formal and informal · the problem of curricula · content, direction and process · identity, personality and role · conclusion · return to main contents introduction [page 1] Informal education has been an element of practice within casework, schooling, youth work, residential care […]

Using informal education – Chapter 2: Personality and curriculum

Anne Foreman’s important discussion of curriculum within youth work – and the power of personality. Chapter 2 of Tony Jeffs and Mark Smith (1990) Using Informal Education  contents: introduction · curriculum — the youth work approach · youth work and experiential learning · the cult of the ‘character’ · the time factor and learning from […]

Using informal education – Chapter 3: informal education in residential work with adults

Mal Blackburn and Don Blackburn explore some key issues and questions that arise in practice. Reprinted from T. Jeffs and M. Smith (1990) Using Informal Education, Buckingham: Open University Press. contents: introduction · the rise of residential care · the shift to community care · behaviourist approaches · normalization programmes and the use of the […]

using informal education – Chapter 4: Informal education with young women in the community

In this chapter from T. Jeffs and M. Smith (eds.) Using Informal Education, Glynis Francis explores some of the issues with regard to developing informal education practice with young women. contents: introduction · the experience of being an informal educator · informal education and social relations · young women and informal education ·prioritizing : placing […]

Using informal education – Chapter 5: informal education – a place in the new school curriculum?

Dave Burley’s exploration of informal education in schooling. Chapter 5 in Jeffs and Smith (1990) Using Informal Education. contents: the attractions and distractions of informal education · curriculum · management and financial control ·the relationship of informal education and secondary schooling · informal education through community education · conclusion · return to main contents Introduction […]

Using informal education – Chapter 6: neighbourhood, crime and informal education

Debbie Saddington explores educative practice within the probation service. Reprinted from T. Jeffs and M. Smith (eds.) Using Informal Education, Buckingham: Open University Press. contents: introduction · the new focus · neighbourhood-based informal education in practice · aspects of locally based informal education · the personality of the worker · understanding groups · workers, agencies […]