Drawing upon the experiences of adult and community educators, youth and community workers, Mark Smith examines the practice of educators who build up ways of working with local networks and cultures. Shops, launderettes, streets, bars, cafes and peoples' houses are the settings for much of their work, and when they do appear in schools and colleges, they are most likely to be found in corridors, eating areas and student common-rooms. Their work is not organized by subject, syllabi or lessons; it is about conversation and community, a commitment to local democracy and self-organization, and is often unpredictable and risky. Mark Smith offers an analysis of the subtle and difficult activity of intervening in other peoples' lives, of conversing with purpose and of engaging with people to broaden opportunity and to effect change in their lives and communities.
"...a landmark book..." -Times Educational Supplement "At a time when policy changes require adult and youth work to achieve a greater mutual understanding than in the past,this book offers an invaluable guidebook to the persistent values of democracy common to both. It will be useful reading for policy-makers,managers and trainers at all levels." - Open Learning