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Open Access research with a European policy impact...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC).

EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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Alternative sites of learning: educational youth work as a paradigm and process

Coburn, Annette (2009) Alternative sites of learning: educational youth work as a paradigm and process. In: 16th International Conference on Learning, 2009-07-01 - 2009-07-04.

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Abstract

Educational Youth Work, as distinct from the provision of leisure activity, creates the possibility for young people being empowered and to make autonomous decisions about their lives. This paper reports on an ethnographic case study which examined perceptions and experiences of equality within one educational youth work setting. Research methods, including semi-structured interview, electronic diary and observation, were used to explore young people’s views and enabled them to reflect on their perceptions. The findings illustrate how the youth work paradigm facilitates the creation of a powerful learning environment. Young people’s experiences were interpreted, by themselves and by the researcher, as central to the construction of knowledge and understanding of equality. The young people reported on how their perspectives changed over time. Their considerations of the setting, illustrated how the youth work site enabled alternative educational processes through which young people can learn and flourish. There was evidence that the formation of trusting relationships, with other young people and youth workers, facilitated learning within this site. The findings also noted how such relationships, contributed to the creation of informal educational sites for, ‘experimentation, creativity and possibility’ (Giroux, 2005, p 151). The concept of critical pedagogy provided a framework for understanding educational youth work as both a social and a political process (Freire, 2004; Giroux, 2005; Kellner (2000). As a catalyst for social change, critical pedagogy is discussed within this paper in relation to the youth work curriculum.