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This free course, The range of work with young people, identifies some features that we might use to describe the various settings where work with young people takes place. This encourages us to identify similarities and differences between settings. It then introduces some theoretical perspectives to help us review these settings and thus understand more about the experience for young people and workers. Finally, it uses these perspectives to analyse examples of different settings, relating the theoretical ideas to the realities of practice.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- understand the distinction between description and reflection
- describe the range of work with young people and the variety of organisations, settings and working practices that this encompasses
- compare and contrast work in a range of settings, using a set of parameters such as: location, type of organisation, aims, funding, worker roles
- illustrate examples based on personal experience or that of friends or family.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Describing and reflecting
- 2 Describing practice
- 3 Reflecting on practice
- Keep on learning
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The range of work with young people
In this course we will be looking at the range of settings within which practitioners work with young people. Some people reading it will have experience of working with young people in at least one setting. Others may have a more general interest in young people and may have begun to think about the ‘spaces’ within which they spend their time, and the different ways that they might be supported. Settings are diverse and include schools, youth or community centres, voluntary movements such as Girlguiding, faith-based projects, education or training related projects, those linked with arts or sport, and, importantly, the street. You might be aware of organisations that work with people of all ages but wish to acknowledge the particular contribution of young people. Alternatively, you may have experience of spending time with young people in a residential setting – with looked after children, a youth offending institution, summer camps or within your own family home as a parent or foster parent. This course highlights the importance and variety of the ‘spaces’ that young people frequent and the nature of their relationship with the adults that they meet. As we progress through the course you will have the opportunity to focus on settings with which you are familiar, as well as The Factory Project – just one example of the range of work with young people.
The first part of the course outlines some features that we might use to describe the settings where work with young people takes place. This encourages us to notice and reflect on the similarities and differences between settings.
We follow this with various perspectives that can help us to reflect on these settings and thus understand more about the experience for young people and workers. We then move on to look at a number of examples of different settings for such work, aiming to relate the theoretical ideas to the realities of practice. We conclude the course with an activity that invites you to analyse a setting of your choice.
Fundamental to the course, and to thinking about work with young people, are the ideas of description and reflection. We begin, then, with a brief explanation of these ideas.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 16th February 2016
Last updated on: Tuesday, 16th February 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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