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Transcript of Practice 2
Neil Thompson identifies four kinds of POWER
Now, I'm not suggesting that we are ruled by aliens,
but as we dig beneath the surface we find some…
“If [we] can provide a certain type of relationship, the other person will discover within himself the capacity to use that relationship for growth, and change and personal development will occur”
Carl Rogers (1961, p33)
Willingness to help
Open to challenges.
P is for POWER
Lack of confidence in
his own ability and
of his appearance and
low expectations of
POWER FROM WITHIN.
"Maximising potential… providing information… helping people learn, providing reassurance and moral support, boosting confidence, helping to 'rewrite' destructive or oppressive narratives."
"Using authority… when necessary, legitimate and proportional."
"Working together…[as] a fundamental basis for good practice."
"Helping people draw on their own strengths and inner resources."
(Thompson 2007 p63)
I would suggest two more types of power that may be useful to explore.
Thompson describes "Power Over" as a negative domination, a necessary evil to be used sparingly. What happens, however when put ourselves in the vulnerable position of giving the learner power over us?
It is often assumed that as the educator, we teach and the learner learns, but much can be gained for both parties through the reversal of roles. Giving the learner responsibility over you puts them in a position where they realise a) that they have your trust and b) that they too have something valuable to contribute, share or teach. This can foster an increased sense of self worth which in turn can encourage learners to take initiative in positively impacting those around them.
Simple examples of this in my practice include encouraging young people to teach me skills such as drumming or skateboarding, and asking young people to belay me on rock climbing trips.
POWER FROM ABOVE.
Where there is power there is always struggle and resistance. The dangers of revenge and retaliation can be seen in generational cycles of violence, sectarianism or racism in families, communities and countries.
There are more effective, practical and redemptive models of readdressing power than vengeance, however. The concept of "Restorative Justice", has victims meet their offenders and talk, humanising both in the process and enabling them to repair harm and work to reconciliation/positive ways forward. This often brings a new sense of liberation as the deeper causes and effects surrounding the situation are shared, giving both parties a deeper understanding.
In this approach the victim is not only empowered to confront his oppressor but also to affect positive change in him/her through helping him/her see the real impact of his/her actions. As such it is an example of the subversive biblical practice of loving your enemies.
"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21 NIV)
POWER FROM BENEATH.
as part of,
and affected by,
a larger context
Strange words beginning with H.
H is for Hegemony.
“Dominant ideology, as a form of ideological persuasion, permeates our lives through the institutions of civil society, By these means, dominant attitudes are internalised and accepted as common sense, and thereby legitimised in the minds of people.”
(Ledwith 2011 p137)
Cultural hegemony has a powerful influence over the habitus of
a) young people like Mark, and b) the wider society in the way they perceive and relate to young people like Mark, when young people are demonised in the media, and reduced to statistics to further government agendas.
H is for Habitus.
Habitus describes the subconscious attitudes, tendencies and habits which grow out of our life experience, culture, background and character.
“When habitus encounters a social world of which it is the product it finds itself as a fish in water. It does not feel the weight of water and takes the world about itself for granted”
(Bourdieu cited in Brockbank & McGill, 2006 p28)
Which can look a bit like like this:
Young people are all the same
They are no good
I am not safe
They are a problem
I am not seen for who I am
I am no good
I am not trusted/trustworthy
I have no worth
Paulo Freire recognised the need for a
- a liberating critical awakening to the structural and cultural oppression around us
Many young people I speak to have an articulate level of critical awareness of the structures and assumptions that hold them back, but instead of engendering hope this often leads to a sense of despair and apathy, as they see no way forward or alternative to their everyday experience.
Thinking out loud: Thoughts & Reflections
Bolton, R (1986) People Skills: How to assert yourself, listen to others and resolve conflicts. Simon and Schuster, New York
Brockbank, A. McGill, I. (2006) Facilitating Reflective learning through Mentoring and Coaching, Kogan Page, London & Philidelphia
Burke, B. (1999, 2005) 'Antonio Gramsci, schooling and education', the encyclopedia of informal education, http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et-gram.htm.
Butterfield, J. May 2008. The Woolf Within.
Available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1s6wKeGLQk [Accessed July 12, 2012]
CLD Standards Council for Scotland (2011) What does it mean for me? A Youth Work Commentary on a Code of Ethics for Community Learning and Development. Youthlink, Glasgow
Foucault, M (1980) Power/Knowledge. Harvester Wheatsheaf, Hertfordshire
Freire, P (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Penguin, London
Johnson, W. Ridly, C. (2004) The Elements of Mentoring. Palgrave Macmillan, New York
Lucio-Villegas, E (2009) Paulo Freire: A beginner’s guide. Concept Journal Vol.1 No.1 2009 online edition
Ledwith, M. (2011) Community Development: A Critical Approach (2011 edition), Policy Press, Bristol
Watch the film of Mark's journey
(one which is nicely illustrated by this
old video clip. Please be patient,
it takes a little while to start
before you begin to get the idea.)
Hover over the titles
and click to play some
musings on theory and practice.
This is a presentation about…
Click to watch an external example of Restorative Justice
Multimedia Model: Empowering relationships in CL&D
PG Dip Community Learning & Development. University of Aberdeen
A few notes regarding Prezi before you continue.
Prezi is a useful piece of software. However there are a few issues and pointers worth sharing:
This presentation is best viewed in fullscreen, with audio.
Please do not view this Prezi through the Prezi Viewer App for iPad. It does not frame things properly and makes the formatting look weird.
Please click through the stages slowly. If you double tap you might miss something important.
If you cannot see text clearly, or want a closer look at something, click on the object and you will be zoomed in.
Hitting the back arrow will return you to your position in the presentation.
Make sure you don't miss out!
I have tried to visually narrate with comments which guide the viewer to the various sights, but here's a wee list to watch out for:
3 min animation showing Mark's journey - the distance travelled/approach taken/skills used.
10 min youtube clip showing restorative justice in action.
5 min youtube clip showing subtle messages in our culture.
4 short audio clips of some recent reflections in progress.
2 min video clip of Mark and his view of the journey/relationship.
Perhaps then our role as workers is something of a prophetic one;
helping young people find ways to imagine new possible futures where currently they see little hope,
countering hegemonic assumptions by finding ways to help them share their stories with the wider community,
and continually demonstrating our confidence in their potential, especially when they often struggle to believe in themselves.
Sinclair, N (2011) Invisible barriers to adult education in the East End of Glasgow. Concept Journal Vol.2 No.1 2010 online edition
Smith, Kirsty (2010) Nobody is going to stop stereotyping anybody: How the media portray young people and how professionals treat them! A Journal of Youth Work: Research and Positive Practices in Work with Young People. Issue 5 2010 p37-54
Stuart, K (2010) Narratives and stories: An Action Research Tool for Inter-Professional Work and Youth Development work? A Journal of Youth Work: Research and Positive Practices in Work with Young People. Issue 6 2010 p20-29
Preston-Shoot (2007) Effective Group Work: Second Edition. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke
Quinton, D (2004) Supporting Parents: Messages from Research. Jessica Kingsley, London
Rogers C (1967) On Becoming a Person: A therapist’s view of psychotherapy. Constable, London
Smith, M. K. (2001) 'Relationship' in the encyclopaedia of informal education [www.infed.org/biblio/relationship.htm. Last update: May 29, 2012 ].
Starr, J, (2008) The Coaching Manual: the definitive guide to the process. Pearson Education, Harlow
Sweenigami, March 2008. They Live - Obey, Consume, This is your God [video online] Available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Lwlx3GnLGs [Accessed July 9, 2010]
Taylor, A M (2003) Responding to Adolescents: Helping Relationship Skills for Youth Workers Mentors and Other Advisors. Russell House, Dorset
Taylor, T (2010) Defending Democratic Youth Work. Concept Journal Vol.1 No.2 2010 online edition
Thompson, N (2007) Power and Empowerment. Russell House, Dorset