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Real lives, imagined futures: stories of participation and progression through the Open University professional qualification in Youth Work

Curran, Sheila and Golding, Tyrrell (2012). Real lives, imagined futures: stories of participation and progression through the Open University professional qualification in Youth Work. In: International Conference on Youth Work and Youth Studies, 28-30 Aug 2012, Glasgow, UK.

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Abstract

The presentation explores the findings from ‘Real lives, imagined futures’ project, a small scale qualitative investigation which examined the experiences of students studying on The Open University’s professional qualifications in Youth Work, with a particular focus on students from low social and economic status backgrounds. Taking a broadly biographical approach, the study explored the connections between the personal, occupational and social factors which shape the hopes, fears and performance of our students. It also examined students’ accounts of their developing identity as youth workers, and the discourses that they draw on to make sense of their professional role and their practice at a time of change. Contemporary understandings of workplace learning emphasise the importance of the sector, organisational context, work practices, and social relations on opportunities to learn and change in work (Felstead et al, 2009; Rainbird et al, 2004, Eruat, 1998). But the context in which our students are working and studying are not stable, and significant changes in the funding and provision of services are already reshaping the youth work sector. In particular, the paper will focus on ‘turning points’ in the progression of students, the hurdles they have had to negotiate and overcome on their journey to professional qualification, and the range of factors that have motivated and supported them to remain positive and to ‘keep going and get through’. These include their strong commitment to working with and supporting young people, their personal and professional values; and the networks of support provided by colleagues, friends and family, as well as the support and guidance provided by University staff and other students.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport > Childhood, Youth and Sport > Childhood and Youth
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport > Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Education Futures
Related URLs:
Item ID: 42701
Depositing User: Tyrrell Golding
Date Deposited: 13 May 2015 08:35
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2019 04:57
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/42701
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