Informal Learning in Youth Work offers fresh perspectives on all aspects of informal education in the youth work setting. Designed to develop the reader’s knowledge and skills, this comprehensive textbook explores key issues such as communication, power relations, ethics, gender exclusion, sexuality, race discrimination, and social class. The author places particular emphasis on conversation as a key means of promoting informal learning and engaging effectively with young people.
Chapter 11: Friendship and Professionalism
Friendship and Professionalism
- The dilemmas of ‘friendship’ as an aspect of informal learning in youth work are explored.
- Boundaries, closeness and distance in professional practice are explored.
- The practice of friendship as a practice of hospitality, generosity and welcome in a network of learning is discussed.
One of the most notable features of the contact between the professional informal educator and those with whom she or he is working is its friendliness. Because of the informality of the work, the ways in which youth and community workers establish their relationships with young people and adults are much less distinctly distant than the style adopted by other professionals, such as teachers and health workers. Yet the view of the informal educator as a ‘friend’ is contentious. The ...