This webinar encouraged attendees to revisit youth and community education through the lens of ‘thinking co-operatively’, asking questions about what would be required to reset youth and community education as a practice grounded in co-operative values and principles.

Youth and community work is cited as having its roots in ‘an approach to working in neighbourhoods that helps local people to decide, plan and take action to meet their needs’ (Ledwith, 2005)

A short history of youth and community work

The earliest forms of youth and community education were often set in the grass roots context of neighbourhoods they aimed to serve and worked in partnership with local people to construct learning, action and social change.

Today some youth and community education is located within institutions: schools, colleges and universities, where institutions prescribe the terms of engagement for youth and community learning, often requiring the individual to bend towards institutional procedures, comply with predetermined criteria and make do with what is ‘on offer’.

The challenge 

The tensions between the neoliberal, marketised institutions jar with the Youth Work and Community development (YWCD) sector values. However, the YWCD field remains strongly committed to informal learning, with a focus on grassroots engagement.

It also maintains a strong tradition and affinity with the co-operative movement, sharing many of the same values including equity, mutuality, recognition, care, solidarity, democracy and social justice. Higher education plays an important role in opening up possibilities and imagining alternative ways through research, teaching and learning and organising differently. 

Watch again

A recording of the session is now available below.

The Event

Take a look below at the speakers and the full range of topics that were explored during the session.

1. Teaching and Learning Differently

Speaker: Paul Fenton (The Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth and Community Work) and Dave Beck (University of Glasgow)

Followed by a breakout discussion

2. Organising Differently

Speakers: Gill Hughes and Christine Smith

Followed by a breakout discussion

3. Researching Differently

Speaker: Janet Batsleer (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Chaired by Cilla Ross.

Followed by a plenary session and summary

Delivered in partnership with The Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth and Community Work.

The Professional Association of Lecturers in Youth and Community Work logo

Be the first to hear about any future events like this and sign up to our mailing list via the button below.

sign up to our mailing list

Booking for this event has now closed.