Further to yesterday’s post, The Pitfalls of Professionalisation, we are pleased to add Graeme Tiffany’s intriguing philosophical and practice-based reflections on the ‘professional. He concludes,
Consider then a paradigm shift; one in which the youth worker leads a heightened appreciation of the ‘semi-professional’: someone who acknowledges they don’t know it all; someone who celebrates knowledge on the ground; someone moved by the thoughts and experiences of those that they work with, someone who can value young people’s values (even if they are not necessarily their own) and someone who, in so-doing, ‘tips power’ toward the young in order to create the spaces essential for their autonomy and self-determination to flourish. Consider the youth worker then as the architect of a new vision of professionalism. Perhaps it is this that should be campaigned for: the true professional prize of freedom in judgement-making – and the opportunity then to pass this on to young people. With this we can argue, daily if necessary, that the values, principles and ethics of youth work can endure even in a world of constant change, where the only certainty is of uncertainty. It is this debate, of what youth work values are (and what should be done to live them out) that is implicit in all good social practices. It is this that must be attended to and invested in. Made public this will advocate for youth work in a participatory rather than representative way. Thence it is for the many, rather than the few.