Holiday reading: Freire’s legacy, and more


Cover image by Robin Sukatorn at

Many of us don’t get enough time or space to read. But the winter nights are a good excuse to sit reading on the sofa or in a cafe or pub, with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, especially if we have a bit of time off work at this time of year. So it is good timing for the latest issue of the brilliant journal Concept, a Special Issue of reflections (50 years on) on Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed – still a vital and inspiring (if challenging!) key text on many a youth and community work course! The journal is available online – you may wish to start by reading our Tony Taylor’s thoughts on Freire and the special issue over on his blog, Chatting Critically.

For other reading, the Youth and Policy journal continues to publish interesting articles – there is a lot here, but perhaps our supporters will be particularly interested in the thoughtful and creative reflections by Wayne Richards and Jo Lewis on the closure of the youth and community work course in Worcester.

Another recent article in Youth and Policy, by Craig Pinkney, Shona Robinson-Edwards and Martin Glynn, is highly timely, as they discuss their research on the importance of ‘on road’ youth work – in the context of rising ‘gun crime’, they argue quite rightly that “there is now the need to better understand the components of an ‘On Road’ approach to youth work which rests firmly in the less structured and informal practices of youth work”. Yet we wonder whether this ‘less structured and informal’ approach will be valued in the government’s newly announced fund for youth projects aimed at tackling ‘serious violence’. We suspect not, as this fund (as is the current vogue) requires ‘proven results’ – easy to say and difficult to do, especially when it comes to working on young people’s terms and in their territory, as in the detached youth work tradition. More on this another time, no doubt.

We will be back in the new year with more reading suggestions, stories from practice, policy critique and much more – do let us know on if you have any ideas for the website, or if you’d like to write something for us. We are still looking for contributions to our series ‘Is youth work dead?’ – tell us what’s going on for you! Thanks to all who have read and commented this year, and especially to those who have contributed. Here’s wishing everyone a good break, a merry Christmas (for those who celebrate) and a very happy new year.

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