Young People and Development: The Role of Global Youth Work in Engagement and Learning
In this chapter I will outline the definitions and principles of what is known as global youth work and relate this to learning and development in the wider youth work sector. 1 will also look at how global youth work has been interpreted and what makes it distinctive, in terms of its approach, agenda and intended outcomes; be it young people’s personal, social and political development or awareness of global development issues. Historically many local government youth services and voluntary and community sector organisations in the UK and Ireland have explored global issues with young people through international work, including youth exchanges, links and intercultural learning as distinct curriculum areas. However this work has always been constrained by the limited funding available and a lack of understanding of the value of this work as a core activity at a strategic level within the youth work and development education (DE) sectors and government departments. This chapter will identify some of the perceived differences between global youth work and school-based development education in regard to aims and methodology, in particular youth work’s principle of ‘Voluntarism’ and a desire to be ‘action focused’ involving the active participation of young people in curriculum design and delivery.
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