Towards a Digital Hybrid Pedagogy for Youth Work

Jane Melvin

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Youth workers are often identified as boundary crossers, border pedagogues, or hybrid pedagogues, terms which imply practitioners being able to straddle the border between two or more disciplines, professions or territories. The very language of borders and boundaries suggests learning spaces and places bounded by recognisable structures, however, in the digital world, the skills needed to maximise learning across virtual borders and boundaries might not be so apparent. The idea of a digital hybrid pedagogy hints at deeper meanings where the borders between the spaces and places of non-digital youth work and digital youth work are sometimes uncharted and vague. This challenges youth workers to think about ‘…deeper resonances, suggesting not just that the place of learning is changed but that a hybrid pedagogy fundamentally rethinks our conception of place’ (Stommel, 2012).

Hybridity implies that a number of pedagogies can be merged in order to work together. In terms of where learning based on digital needs is situated, it is not just a case of mixing traditional approaches with a digital dimension: it is also about making sure that the type of learning gained by young people in physical spaces and places is reflected and complemented by the types of learning that can occur in digital spaces and places. Underpinned by cultural historical activity theory (CHAT), this paper will explore recent research into digital tools, spaces and places as mediators of youth work practice, and will identify expansive drivers that suggest how youth workers can work towards evolving a digital hybrid pedagogy in order to meet young people’s digital needs as a part of holistic youth work practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2019
EventPALYCW Annual Conference 2019: Critical Pedagogy and Professional Practice in Youth and Community Work Education. - Bishop Grossteste University, Lincoln, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Jul 20195 Jul 2019


ConferencePALYCW Annual Conference 2019: Critical Pedagogy and Professional Practice in Youth and Community Work Education.
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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