Youth work training in historical and contemporary contexts: developing a new pre-service model for Australia.

Brooker, J 2016, Youth work training in historical and contemporary contexts: developing a new pre-service model for Australia., Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Youth work training in historical and contemporary contexts: developing a new pre-service model for Australia.
Author(s) Brooker, J
Year 2016
Abstract Youth workers require a sound knowledge and understanding of both the practical and administrative skills required to successfully address the multitude of scenarios they face daily in their work with young people. Understanding the impact of economic, historical, political and social drivers ensures the education and training provided to youth work students sees them properly prepared for their careers in youth work. Current courses offered in Australia tend to favour training youth workers in either competent skills (VE) or academic capabilities (HE) whereas overseas students must be competently capable upon graduation.

That Australian HE youth work students are not acquiring the same skills as those of their VE and overseas counterparts led to an investigation into what would be necessary to ensure they aligned with their overseas colleagues. An in-depth examination of historic and current Australian HE youth work programs identified significant changes in curriculum delivery when training passed from private providers to the formal tertiary system in 1977. In 2016, HE youth work programs have a greater theoretical emphasis than those overseas with less than ten per cent of each delivery plan allocated to the active participation of students with youth organisations in their practicum. In comparison, HE and VE youth work programs in Canada, New Zealand, the UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) and the USA dedicate between 33 and 50 per cent of a student’s study time to this important aspect of their studies. Interviews with recent graduates and youth work agency representatives provided valuable information about what was involved in each program and what they believe is currently missing from the youth work curriculum. Training providers outlined what currently accounts for a youth work program.

In an attempt to address this anomaly, a new model for youth work education in Australia was created based on the information gathered from the overseas case studies and an analysis of ABS census data (2001, 2006, 2011) as well as other current world and Australian data regarding youth issues, providing an insight into what are the current issues for young people and what the emerging trends are.

The merging of the data gathered was utlised to develop a new model of youth work pre-service training for Australia. Consisting of 20 core units, ten electives and 780 hours of practicum delivered over the three years of the degree (Year 1:240 hours, Year 2: 240 hours, Year 3: 300 hours) it included courses about the family, refugees, health and well-being and the new technologies which reflected the data gathered earlier in the research process.

Appraised by 12 Australian and international youth work reviewers, the new model for Bachelor of Arts (Community Youth Work) was deemed to be a good balance of theory and practice which would ensure that youth work graduates would be work-ready upon graduation with the necessary essential knowledge and competencies required of new youth workers. All of the appraisers believed the proposed degree has a strong vocational basis, which is demonstrated through the practical application of the theory learnt, was highly regarded by the appraisers who commented on the fact that this is not often the case in a HE degree, particularly in Australia.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Global, Urban and Social Studies
Subjects Higher Education
Technical, Further and Workplace Education
Curriculum and Pedagogy not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Youth work training
Curriculum development
International, training
New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States of America
Youth worker
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Created: Thu, 02 Feb 2017, 08:48:00 EST by Denise Paciocco
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