Youth work education at Newman celebrated in new International Book

20/08/2019 by Sinead Staunton

Members of the youth work team at Newman have edited and contributed to a new International book ‘Teaching Youth Work in Higher Education: Tensions, Connections, Continuities and Contradictions’ published by Tartu University Press, Estonia – the first book to look at international pedagogic practice for Youth Work in Universities.

The book is the culmination of two strategic partnership sharing good pedagogic practice funded by the European Commission between Finland, Estonia and the UK, at the time the only countries to have university based specific professionally qualifying courses in Youth work. Over two years practice was discussed, policy makers were engaged, common ground was found and chapters were written. This book is the result of this.

Dr Mike Seal, Reader in Critical Pedagogy was the overall editor and the editorial board included Mike Gilsenan, Senior Lecturer and Pauline Grace, Senior Lecturer. Helen Bardy from Newman also contributed to the book. The book has 26 chapters and 47 authors from the UK, Estonia, Sweden, Finland and Australia. Newman authors contributed to six chapters.

Howard Williamson, Professor of youth Policy at South Wales University comments in his preface. ‘There are certainly tensions, connections, continuities and contradictions surrounding teaching youth work in higher education. Throughout Europe, and indeed in other parts of the world, there is a resurgence of interest in something called ‘youth work’ and in the education and training of a group of practitioners called ‘youth workers’, and this book is a contribution to that process… The book may be useful to other academics within and beyond youth worker education.

Finally, and critically I think, the book is evidence of the increasing contribution to be made by educators within higher education to knowledge creation about youth work. Youth work is an art, a craft and a science, though rarely in equal measure, but always in a different balance depending on the context, the group, the issue and the wider expectations. That is what students of youth work, inside and outside of universities, have to learn. This book helps us to start thinking about the place of universities in contributing to that learning environment.’

The Book will be launched at an international conference at Narva College, Estonia to an audience of 200 academics, practitioners and policy makers on the 20th September.