Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"Youth Work" Seven Characteristics

  1. Youth work is an educational practice: Youth workers and educators act in the same way, in the respect of delivering activities and intervening in a young person's life with the purpose of getting that young person to have their own thoughts, feelings, and ideas about the social world around them. Youth work has a methodology just as teaching, in the way of creating opportunities for learning and offering choice to youth otherwise denied that freedom. 
  2. Youth work is a social practice: Case work approaches circling around personal info, advice, and guidance in groups are effective. This characteristic tests the way youth may work and display values, attitudes, and behaviors with others. Ex. At Calcutt middle school in YDEV 250, some of us mentors were assigned to more than one student and that group became a platform for social practice, or nurturing collective association amongst young people as the chapter describes it. 
  3. Youth workers actively challenge inequality and work towards social justice: Ah, the reason there are Youth Development majors concentrating in social justice. Often, we youth workers encounter youth marginalized by personal, cultural, or structural barriers. It is our job to act help them reach an understanding of oppression and power, get them to reflect, critically analyze, and approach how they could grease the wheels of change. 
  4. Where possible, young people choose to be involved: Less like classroom environments, young people engage themselves rather than participate because they feel compelled to. Youth work and informal education should take place in schools in order to positively contribute to the personal and social development of young people so says the authors in the chapter 'Preparation for Practice'.
  5. Youth work seeks to strengthen the voice and influence of young people: In some settings, the younger you are, the less you are likely to be seen (not literally) and credited with anything you say. Youth workers want young people to influence the environment in which they live. Having influence and making decisions is empowering to youth in a society. 
  6. Youth work is a welfare practice: We will encounter youth that are in greater need and deprived of much. A teenage pregnancy reduction project would be something a youth worker could get involved with that stands for and works towards valuable desired outcomes. 
  7. Youth work works with young people 'holistically': We approach our kid clients as an area the world of medicine is moving into. Labels should not be placed on the types of youth we work with (to classify them as pregnant teens or offenders). To only focus on the narrow policy defined problem the youth is attached to by nature of label would have limited impact. We need not do the work for the purpose of social policy objectives, but the primary work for the youth. I added the following hyperlink because (Ken Robinsons talk) is a good reminder of how the institution of education kills off a piece that youth workers count on, confront, and include in their purposeful play.   https://www.youthleadersacademy.com/10-ted-talks-youth-worker-should-watch-2/

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