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Course units

Course unit - Values and Practice in Community and Youth Work

Code : EDUC10511
Credit rating: 20
Semester : 1

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Aims | Objectives | Assessment | Information * | Course unit content |
Course unit materials | Tutors | Timetable | Teaching methods | Keywords


The unit aims to consolidate students’ understanding of the values and principles of community and youth work and to introduce the core texts and theories as well as their relationship to practice within an anti-oppressive approach.

Objectives (learning outcomes)

On successful completion of the unit students will:
Knowledge and understanding
• be able to identify some of the characteristics of power, privilege, exclusion and oppression as particularly related to issues such as sexism, racism, heterosexism, disabilism, class, age-ism, globalisation
• be able to recognise how these issues relate to opportunities and participation in community and youth work as well as other social structures – particularly as they relate to specific groups and communities
• know about ways to apply principles of anti-oppressive practice in a community and youth work context, different ways to promote equality of opportunity and diversity (YW NOS 2.3.1) and to encourage others to explore their values and beliefs (NOS1.3.1)
• an understanding of the relevance of the National Occupational Standards for Community
Development and for Youth Work to professional practice

Intellectual skills
• have developed their ability to reflect on personal values, experiences, knowledge, skills in relation to the development of professional practice
• have developed their ability to examine and evaluate a range of practice interventions
• have considered ways to give and receive professional support to others

Practical skills
• be able to identify, evaluate and use a range of methods to address issues related to oppression and to enable participation
• have identified useful sources of information and ways to organise relevant material

Transferable skills and personal qualities
• have negotiated with a team to carry out a piece of joint work
• have planned and facilitated a presentation of research findings


Students must meet the attendance requirements to pass the unit.

Assessment task - Length - Weighting within unit
Group research proposal form - 250 words - 0% (formative assessment only)
Presentation: Group presentation & interview - ½ hour - 50%
Coursework: an essay analysing learning on a specific relevant issue - 2,500 words - 50%

Information *

This unit involves students in an exploration of anti-oppressive community and youth work issues and practice through consideration of oppression in society, its effects and methods of addressing them through informal learning, youth work and community work/development. Students will be involved in research groups identifying relevant definitions, texts and good practice. This is a compulsory unit for students on the BA in Applied Community and Youth Work Studies programme.

Course unit content

Contact time - Weekly hours - Total hours
Lectures - 10 weeks x 2 hours - 20
Tutorials (Workshop) - 1 x 4 hours - 4
Assessed presentations - 1 session x 6 hours - 6
Total contact time - 30

Other learning hours
Research visits - 2 x 3 hours - 6
Group work - 2 hours x 11 weeks - 22
Directed reading - 52
Independent research - 60
Preparation for assessment - 30
Total - 200

Course unit materials


Martin Purcell



Teaching methods

The unit will include tutor input and group discussions of values and practice as related to community and youth work studies often through scenarios. Relevant current practitioners or trainers involved in anti-oppressive practice and/or directly affected by the issues concerned will provide additional input. Students will be expected to carry out reading to develop their knowledge and understanding of core texts related to the profession.

Students will also be assigned to groups and allocated a specific topic that they will research together through examination and discussion of relevant literature, occupational and professional standards, government policy documents and visits to organisations. The research groups will prepare a group presentation about their topic and its relevance to community and youth work values and practice.

Students will maintain a reflective journal online to record their experiences and learning in relation to the sessions, the research groups and their reading – and relate this to their previous experience of practice, personal values, knowledge and competencies as well as their future development needs. On-going formative feedback on their journal will be provided through Blackboard by the tutor. Using the journal, students will submit an individual critical analysis of their learning from the unit as a whole at the end.

Preliminary reading

Banks, S. (Ed) (1999) Ethical Issues in Youth Work. London: Routledge
Batsleer, J. (2008) Informal Learning in Youth Work. London: Sage
Batsleer, J. & Davies, B. (2010) What Is Youth Work. Learning Matters
Buchroth, I. & Parkin, C. (2010) Using Theory in Youth and Community Work Practice. Exeter: Learning Matters
Cleaver, H. et al, eds. (2009) Safeguarding Children: A Shared Responsibility. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell
Clements, P. (2008) The Diversity Training Handbook: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Changing Attitudes. 3rd Edition. London: Kogan Page
Harris, V. (Ed) (2001) Community Work Skills Manual. (Revised edition). Newcastle: Association of Community Workers
Hart, R. A. (1997) Children’s Participation: The Theory and Practice of Involving Young Citizens in Community Development and Environmental Care. Earthscan
Ledwith, M. (2005) Community Development: a critical approach. Bristol: Policy
Mullender, A. & Thompson, N. (2003) Promoting Equality: Challenging Discrimination and Oppression 2nd Revised edition. Palgrave Macmillan
Popple, K. (1995) Analysing community work: its theory and practice . Buckingham: Open University Press
Roberts, J. (2009) Youth Work Ethics, Learning Matters
Sapin, K. (2008) Essential Skills for Youth Work Practice. London: Sage
Thompson, N. (2006) Power and Empowerment (Theory Into Practice). Russell House Publishing Ltd
Twelvetrees, A. (2001) Community Work (3rd ed) Basingstoke: Palgrave

Additional recommended texts:
Amos-Simpson, M. (2007) A Practical Approach to Youth Participation. YoMo Community Interest Company
Beck, D. & Purcell, R. (2010) Popular Education Practice for Youth and Community Development Work. Exeter: Learning Matters
Dominelli, Lena (rev.2nd ed.) (2006) Women and Community Action. BASW/Policy Press
Edginton, C. (2004) Youth Work: Emerging Perspectives in Youth Development. Sagamore Publishing
Finney, Nissa, Simpson, Ludi (2009) ‘Sleepwalking to segregation?’: challenging myths about race and immigration. Policy Press
Gilchrist, R. et al, eds. (2004) Architects of Change: Studies in the History of Community and Youth Work. Leicester: National Youth Agency
Jarvis, P. (2009) Learning to be a Person in Society. Abingdon: Routledge
Kay, E., et al, eds (2006) Children, Young People and Social Inclusion: Participation for What? Bristol: The Policy Press
Robb, M., ed. (2007) Youth in Context: frameworks, settings and encounters. London: Sage Publications & The Open University
Rupra, M. (2005) I Ain’t Racist But... Leicester: Leicester Racial Equality Council
Sayer, T. (2008) Critical Practice in Working with Children. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan
Thompson, N. (2003) Promoting Equality: challenging discrimination and oppression (2nd edition). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Thompson, N. (2006) Anti-Discriminatory Practice (4th edition). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
White, L. (2002)Neighbourhood Renewal: Case Studies & Conversations Focusing on Adult and Community Learning. Sheffield: Department for Education & Skills and NIACE
Suggestions for additional reading will be provided to the individual research groups.
Relevant websites
Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities:
Campaign To Reverse the Bias Towards Segregation (29th June 2011):


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