From “Paralysing Myths” to Curriculum Expansion: equipping youth & community work students to meet the needs of young people today

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FROM “PARALYSING MYTHS” 1 TO CURRICULUM EXPANSION: equipping youth &community work students to meet the needs of young people today. Underpinned by cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) and concepts of expansive andtrialogical learning, this doctoral research will use Developmental Work Research (DWR)methods to investigate how undergraduate professional formation is equipping newlyqualified youth and community workers to meet the demands and requirements of modernday work with young people, with a particular focus on the principles of informal education,new technologies and needs-based interventions. This approach is underpinned by theVygotskian method of 'double-stimulation' where the subjects start with an identified ‘ problem ’ and then work together as a community to use tools, or to construct the toolsneeded, to solve the ‘problem’ , and to provide a "...way for participants to learn anddevelop new tools for bringing everyday situations under their own analytical and practicalcontrol." 2 The ‘problem’ will be explored through an examination of historical and existing curriculumpractices supported by ethnographic evidence from students and teaching staff, andanalysed from both cultural historical and current perspectives, to identify the ‘paralysing myths ’ 3 and realities for UK youth and community work practice today.The DWR process will support participants to examine models of curriculum practice and tounderstand the associated strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and will alsoaid the development and modeling of new or expanded ways of working. The ongoingprocess will oversee the implementation of such new or expanded models, whilstmonitoring the outcomes and impact. The analysis will reflect on and promote new and/orexpanded processes and outcomes within the UK youth work community of practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBERA Early Career Researcher Conference Procedings 2013
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013
EventBERA Early Career Researcher Conference 2013 - University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Sep 20135 Sep 2013


ConferenceBERA Early Career Researcher Conference 2013
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Youth Work
  • Cultural Historical Activity Theory
  • CHAT
  • digital technologies

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