„The Politics of the Street: Implications for the value-base of detached & outreach work with young people in public space“
Graeme Tiffany has a background in youth work, community education and community development. He was a detached youth worker for many years. Since 2000 he has been a freelance researcher, trainer, lecturer and education consultant with special interests in detached and street-based youth work, youth social policy, democratic education, participation and the use of philosophical tools to support learning. Graeme is Vice-Chair of the UK Federation for Detached Youth Work and the author of Reconnecting Detached Youth Work: Guidelines and Standards for Excellence (2007) and Learning from detached youth work: democratic education (2008), published by the Nuffield Review of 14-19 education, for which Graeme is an advisor.
Throughout history the street has been a political space and place. It is unsurprising then that politics has had an impact on detached and outreach work ever since its inception. But today a politics exists that sanctions an ‘off the street’ mentality in the quest to tackle ‘anti social behaviour’; a politics exists that prioritises the activation of young people as economic entities; a politics exists that strives to manage risk-taking behaviour in the name of ‘healthy lifestyles’. Together, these present significant new challenges to the value-base and practice of street educators.
The presentation, and subsequent workshop, will describe and explore some of these challenges, with a particular focus on work in public spaces.
What can street educators do to maintain an ethic inspired by a commitment to engage with young people as people, rather than as ‘problems to be solved’?