Informal Educational Infrastructure: Citizenship Formation, Informal Education, and Youth Work Practice

  • Ben Arnold LohmeyerEmail author
Living reference work entry


This chapter examines the literature surrounding Informal Education and Youth Work, discussing the implications for citizenship of the “educational infrastructure” (Jeffs and Smith, Informal education: conversation, democracy and learning. Educational Heretics Press, Nottingham, 2005) within social services. The chapter introduces the principles of Informal Education and how it has influenced the development of Youth Work practice in Australia. As an educational infrastructure, Informal Education is located on the “Structural” (Wong, Youth Stud. Aust. 23: 10–16, 2004) end of the Youth Work practice spectrum. This location has implications for the formation and participation of young people into active citizenship within Youth Work practice. This chapter highlights tensions within the Youth Work literature around young people’s democratic rights and participation. Furthermore, this chapter considers the potential for the principles of Informal Education to enhance the emancipatory goals of Structural Youth Work practice. The chapter concludes with a brief example of the implementation of Informal Education in the Australian Youth Work context.


Youth Work Informal Education Democracy Dialogue Rights Participation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Tabor, College of Higher EducationAdelaideAustralia

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