Critical Youth Development
Assuming that the YD ideology inventory was done correctly, I identify with critical youth development most. The orientation of this horoscope is, "a focus on how youth engage with and impact their communities and cultures." I strongly agree with the results of the inventory.I believe that if youth know how to critically think and understand the situations they find themselves in, combined with their strengths and resources, they are able to prevent/ avoid situations they do not want to find themselves in. Therefore, prevention because a natural reaction/ mechanism.
The second category I most identified with was positive youth development. The orientation of this outcome supports my initial idea even more. The orientation of this horoscope is, "a focus fostering strengths and positive growth also helps prevent negative outcomes."Above I mention that critical thinking will enable youth to prevent/ avoid situations they would not like to find themselves in, based on this perspective, critical think would be the strength and would prevent negative outcomes.
I am comfortable with the fact that risk, residency, and prevention was the horoscope that I least identified with. Based on personal experiences, I feel that youth do not respond well to adults assuming that they can not make good choices for themselves, or when they are treated like their judgement isn't good enough. I maybe completely wrong but that is something I would hate to put someone through and like to avoid.
Overall I enjoyed this inventory. It allowed me to understand more about myself and understand other approaches. Although I may not identify as strongly with one, I can see how that perspective is still effective and at times necessary.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I finally had a teacher that forced us to think critically and challenged us to question the rules in our school and the content we were being taught. I remember her asking us all the time, " So what are you going to DO about it?" Whenever we would complain about other teachers or didn't like what the guidance counselor said, she would ask us that question. I appreciate her genuine interest in how we felt and thought about the world happening to us but more importantly, that she would make us do something about it.
The youth at Youth In Action are very fortunate that they get to expose to their own voice at an early age and that they are encouraged to use it. I love how they are encouraged to debate, discuss, and defend what they believe in. It’s an intellectual process that forces them to stand up for what they believe in based on personal conviction. The debates they have break down ideas, beliefs, and customs that have been forced upon them, and allows them to reconstruct them in a way that is true to who they really are at their core.
YIA models the notion “with, not to” in many ways. From the youth being active members of the board of directors, down to heated conversations about controversial topics. All the testimonials that came from the adults involved at YIA reflected their growth and the impact the youth have had on them. This shows that they too are apart of that personal reconstruction process. By letting the youth run most of the program, YIA is a living illustration of the notion “with not to.” The students all, in some way, mentioned being stripped of a voice, feeling like what happened in the classroom didn’t encourage critical thinking or have room for their authentic thoughts. At YIA those authentic thoughts are encouraged, empowered, and brought to life through the youth’s actions.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
The seven characteristics of youth work are: Youth work is an educational practice, Youth work is a social practice, Youth workers challenge inequality and work towards social justice, Where possible, young people choose to be involved, Youth work seeks to strengthen young people to influence the environment in which they live, Youth work is a welfare practice, and Youth work works with young people holistically.
The seven characteristics show the different roles a youth worker plays, and explains how a profession that “works with young people because they are young” involves many aspects of the youth’s lives. An example of youth work as an educational practice is TALL U. Elizabeth would purposefully intervene; enable young people to think, feel, and act differently towards their social world. Their performance to the song Glory, portrayed their understanding of the social dilemmas the world around them is currently facing.
Youth work is a social practice that allows youth to work with others to “ nurture collective association”. The youth get to learning about social behaviors, expectations, and challenges from each other. It becomes a co-dependent social practice.
An example of youth workers challenging inequality and working towards social justice would be when advisor from the MET high school joined their students in the police brutality and black lives matter protest. The advisors understood the impact Mike Brown’s death had on their students and instead of just speaking about in the classroom, they physically joined them in the fight. Going out there with the students “ promoted social justice for young people and society in general.” This example also fit for the characteristic that where possible, young people choose to be involved. Just as the advisors made a conscience decision to protest so did the students. It was a “ voluntary attendance.” This was the extent to which they chose to shape an encounter that was important to them.
Youth work as a welfare practice is “ work with young people experiencing greater needs or in areas of higher deprivation.” Most of the time this characteristic is addressed when an organizations sole purpose is to solve the problem. For example the WIC program that aims to provide families with young children with healthy food options and nutritional supplements. Although that is the main goal of WIC it also helps low-income family have access to free food. WIC does a good job at serving more than one purpose while trying to solve one problem.
Ultimately youth workers aim to “ encourage and enable young people to influence the environment in which they live” this is best achieved when youth workers work with young people holistically. It is the passion and ability to identify with youth that drives youth workers to make a difference and empower young people. These seven characteristics simplify youth work in a way that allows people to understand the many functions of youth development.