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 […]

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 education

What is community education? A guide and booklist. Broadly, we can approach community education as ‘education for community within community’. In other words, something called ‘community‘ is not just the place or context in which education is to occur, fostering community is also a central concern. The process of becoming part of an existing social […]

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 […]

What is competence? What is competency?

Competence and competency. What is competence? How has it been reduced to competency? What is the impact on education and training? Contents: introduction · what is competence? · competency and product approaches · curriculum as process · conclusion · further reading · acknowledgements · how to cite this article Over the last twenty years the […]

What is education? A definition and discussion

Education is the wise, hopeful and respectful cultivation of learning undertaken in the belief that all should have the chance to share in life. Mark K Smith explores the meaning of education and suggests it is a process of inviting truth and possibility. contents: introduction • education – cultivating hopeful environments and relationships for learning […]

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 groupwork?

What is groupwork? While many practitioners may describe what they do as ‘groupwork’, they often have only a limited appreciation of what groupwork 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 process of working […]

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 […]

What is informal education?

So what is informal education? Here Tony Jeffs and Mark K Smith cut a path through some of the confusion around the area. They focus on informal education as a spontaneous process of helping people to learn. Informal education they suggest, works through conversation, and the exploration and enlargement of experience. It’s purpose is to […]

What is learning? A definition and discussion

What is learning? A definition and discussion. Is learning  a change in behaviour or understanding? Is it a process? Mark K Smith surveys some key dimensions and ideas.   A definition for starters: Learning is a process that is often not under our control and is wrapped up with the environments we inhabit and the […]

What is non-formal education?

What is non-formal education? Within policy debates a common differentiation has been made between different forms of provision. Informal, non-formal, and formal programmes have been viewed as very different. Here we explore this categorization and some of the forms of work that exist under the non-formal label in southern countries. Contents: introduction · the idea […]

What is pedagogy? A definition and discussion

Pedagogy is often, wrongly, seen as ‘the art and science of teaching’. Mark K. Smith explores the origins and development of pedagogy and finds a different story –  accompanying people on their journeys. Teaching is just one part of what they do. contents: introduction · the nature of education · pedagogues and teachers · the […]

what is praxis?

Few educators speak of praxis. Those that do tend to link it to the work of Freire. Yet while praxis may not be part of many workers overt vocabulary, practice, a pale derivative, is. So what is praxis and why should educators be concerned with it? contents: · theory and practice · practical reasoning · […]

What is social pedagogy?

Exploring the theory and practice of social pedagogy on this page: introducing social pedagogy • social pedagogy arenas • key ideas in social pedagogy • key thinkers for social pedagogy Pedagogy is a way of being with people. It involves: • joining with them to bring flourishing and relationship to life (animation) • being concerned […]

What is teaching? A definition and discussion

In this piece Mark K Smith explores the nature of teaching – those moments or sessions where we make specific interventions to help people learn particular things. He sets this within a discussion of pedagogy and didactics and demonstrates that we need to unhook consideration of the process of teaching from the role of ‘teacher’ […]

Key teaching activities

In this add-on to ‘What is teaching?’ Mark K Smith outlines nine key activities that teachers engage in. Teaching, he argues, is the process of attending to people’s needs, experiences and feelings, and making specific interventions to help them learn particular things. Contents: being present • setting challenging tasks • talking • explaining • showing […]

What is youth work? Exploring the history, theory and practice of work with young people

, What is youth work? Where did it come from? What is the state of youth work practice today? We explore the development of the theory and practice of youth work in Britain and Northern Ireland – and its uncertain future. contents: introduction · early stirrings · the development of youth work · uniformed youth […]

What is … ?

A series of articles that answer basic questions 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 […] Read Full […]