Animate, care, educate – the core processes of pedagogy

Animate, care, educate – the core processes of pedagogy. Pedagogy can be viewed as a process of accompanying people and bringing flourishing and relationship to life (animation); caring for, and about, people (caring); and drawing out learning (education). Here Mark K Smith explores these core processes. contents: introducing pedagogy • accompanying • core processes • […]

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) […]

Josephine Macalister Brew, youth work and informal education

One of the most ‘able, wise and sympathetic educationalists of her generation’, Josephine Macalister Brew made a profound contribution to the development of thinking about, and practice of, youth work and informal education. contents: introduction · life ·  in the service of youth · informal education · innovations in practice· final days · references · […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Developing youth work: Chapter 2 – The making of popular youth work

In this, the second chapter of Developing Youth Work, Mark Smith explores the emergence of working class and more community-based forms of youth work. In particular he looks at the development of work within chapels and other associations in the nineteenth century, and the development of practice in the 1930s and 1940s. contents:  introduction · […]

Developing youth work: Chapter 3 – Definition, tradition and change in youth work

In this the third chapter of Developing Youth Work, Mark Smith explores the clusters of key ideas that appear to inform the ways in which youth workers see their tasks. Six broad bodies of customs, thoughts and practices are identified – and the power of tradition explored. contents: introduction · traditions in youth work · […]

Developing youth work: Chapter 4 – The demise of the youth service?

In chapter 4 of developing youth work Mark Smith explores the situation facing youth work and the youth service in the late 1980s. He argues that the youth service will whither away, but that youth work in different forms will develop, but not necessarily grow. contents: introduction · growing inequality and a new social condition […]

Developing youth work: Chapter 5 – Beyond social education

This chapter (5) from Developing Youth Work (1988) explores the notion of social education – and how it came into usage in the British youth work tradition. Mark Smith argues that there are particular problems around the personalist orientation that it involves, and the extent to which the idea of selfhood involved is ethnocentric. He […]

Developing youth work: Chapter 6 – Good purpose

Here Mark Smith, in chapter 6 of Developing Youth Work, explores what might lie at the heart of youth work. He underlines the educational nature of the work. He also returns to notions of human well-being and suggests that educators are concerned with enlarging people’s appreciation of it, and developing their ability to act. Smith […]

Developing youth work: Chapter 7 – Informal education

In Chapter 7 of Developing Youth Work (1988) Mark Smith argues for the rehabilitation of the notion of informal education. He critiques dominant, administrative definitions and instead looks to process. contents: introduction · informal education and its alternatives · what is informal education? · critical dialogue · informal education and problems with curriculum · in […]

Developing youth work: Chapter 8 – Developing popular practice

In chapter 8 of Developing Youth Work (1988) Mark K. Smith explores the possibilities of popular practice. He sets out some of the elements that will need to be attended to if work that looks to mutual aid, conversation and informal education are to be realized. contents: introduction · the potential of popular practice · […]

Developing youth work: Bibliography

The complete bibliography for Mark Smith (1988) Developing Youth Work Abercrombie, A. and Turner, B.S. (1982). ‘The Dominant Ideology Thesis’, in Giddens, A. and Held, D. (eds). Classes, Power and Conflict. London, Macmillan. Adams, R. (1988). ‘Finding a way in. Youth workers and juvenile justice’, in Jeffs. T. and Smith, M. (eds). Welfare and Youth […]

Haltung, pedagogy and informal education

Within informal education and social pedagogy, the character and integrity of practitioners are seen as central to the processes of working with others. Here Mark K Smith explores how the German notion of ‘haltung’ draws together key elements around this pivotal concern for pedagogues and informal educators. contents: introduction • patience • haltung, Aristotle and pedagogues […]

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 · […]

Ivan Illich: deschooling, conviviality and lifelong learning

Ivan Illich: deschooling, conviviality and  lifelong learning. Known for his critique of modernization and the corrupting impact of institutions, Ivan Illich’s concern with deschooling, learning webs and the disabling effect of professions has struck a chord among many informal educators. We explore key aspects of his theory and his continuing relevance for informal education and […]

Informal, non-formal and formal education programmes

In this piece Paul Fordham explores the emergence of the influential typology of education programmes as informal, non-formal and formal. The notions are considered in relation to the concern to foster economic development. Particular attention is paid to the characteristics of non-formal education in relation to participation, purposes and methods. Debates around ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ […]

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 […]

Informal education in schools and colleges

In recent years there has been a significant growth in the numbers of informal educators working in formal educational settings like schools and colleges. We explore the phenomenon – and some of the possibilities and problems involved. contents: introduction · recent developments in school and college policy and practice · the decline in classroom teachers’ […]

A brief history of informal education

A brief history of thinking about informal education. So where did informal education come from? Who are the key thinkers? How does it relate to other ways of describing education? contents: education from daily life · informal educators in ancient greece · developments in britain and ireland · informal education and philanthropy · developments in […]

Malcolm Knowles, informal adult education, self-direction and andragogy

Malcolm Knowles, informal adult education, self-direction and andragogy. A champion of andragogy, self-direction in learning and informal adult education, Malcolm S. Knowles was a very influential figure in the adult education field. Here we review his life and achievements, and assess his contribution. contents: introduction · malcolm knowles – life · adult informal education · […]

Learning in places – introduction

We reprint here, as a taster, Zvi Bekerman, Nicholas C. Burbules and Diana Silberman Keller’s introduction to Learning in Places – The informal education reader. Any new book on a widely published topic, especially a rather large book, must explain and justify itself as yet another addition to the literature: Why another book on informal […]

Looking again at non-formal and informal education – towards a new paradigm

Looking again at non-formal and informal education – towards a new paradigm. Alan Rogers explores the confused usage of the terms non-formal and informal education and suggests a way forward. Contents: introduction · defining non-formal education · non-formal education in the field: from the 1980s to today · non-formal education and lifelong learning/education · towards a […]

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 · […]

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 […]

Walking for real

Walk 1: Exploring informal education. The development of thinking and practice through a walk in central London The next guided walk is to be arranged. The walk is free and takes about two and a half hours. The walk will be led by Mark K. Smith. We start at the bandstand in Victoria Embankment Gardens […]

Walking informal education – exploring developments in central London

Walking informal education. Walking in central London we can find many places associated with key figures and moments in the making of informal education. Explore them through a virtual (or real) walk. The walk: Embankment • The Strand • Covent Garden • Trafalgar Square • St Martin’s Lane and Five Dials • Soho and Chinatown • […]

Young people, informal education and association

Young people, informal education and association. In this paper, compiled for the Young People and Informal Education Conference held at the University of Strathclyde in September 2001, Mark K. Smith argues for the recovery of association as a central theme in work with young people, and the need to re-embrace the notion of the club. […]