Privileging Passionate and Risky Conversations in Informal Youth Work

Ta to AZ quotes
Ta to AZ quotes

In my last post, FORMALISING THE INFORMAL : THE NEED FOR CRITICAL DIALOGUE, I suggested that neo-liberal values had infected our work, so much so that they appear to be simply common-sense. One expression of neo-liberal’s instrumental fixation on outcomes is to dismiss  youth work’s informal education tradition as unable to deliver the goods. Neo-liberalism fears emotion, passion and love. Hence I hope you will have a sken at these two blogs by my favourite blogger nowadays, James Ballantyne. In these you are drawn into a world of improvisatory, deeply thoughtful practice.

The first, 10 Privileges of doing detached youthwork, describes being on the streets of Durham one Monday evening.

Its just an awesome thing to be present in the space of detached to enable young people to reflect and learn in the conversation, to help them think about the future, and to be able to do this without having to construct activity or cause them to be on a course. It’s a privilege.

The second, Passionate risky conversations, lets us into a dialogue between Paolo Freire and Myles Horton. James reflects,  “reading it has felt like being in the room with two passionate people, passionate about people, passionate about loving people and helping people make sense of the world, and helping people to understand the systems of the world that cause them to be inhumanely treated.”

We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change by Myles Horton, Paulo Freire


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