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.



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

Nel Noddings and the ethics of care. 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 and helping . Here we explore her contribution.

Helping arenas

Community learning and development


Lifelong learning and adult education

Research for practice


Settlements and social action centres

Social pedagogy

Some key thinkers for helpers

Bok, Sissela

Brandon, David

Brew, Josephine Macalister

Buber, Martin

Coyle, Grace

Dewey, John

Eisner, Elliot W.

Follett, Mary Parker

Freire, Paulo

Froebel, Friedrich

Fromm, Erich

Gandhi, M. K.

Gardner, Howard

Illich, Ivan

Kolb, David

Konopka, Gisela

Krishnamurti, Jiddu

Mills, C. Wright

Neill, A. S.

Noddings, Nel

Nyerere, Julius K.

Owen, Robert

Palmer, Parker J.

Pestalozzi, Johann H.

Rogers, Carl

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 

Ruskin, John