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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education and Sport : Education

Undergraduate Course: Concepts and Controversies in Community Education (EDUA08064)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis course builds on foundational first year studies. It provides an introduction to the key domains of practice, framed primarily around adult education, community development and work with young people. It will consider what is distinctive about each domain in terms of its historical development and contemporary significance.
Course description This course will examine the roots and practices of adult education, community development and youth work respectively. It will identify common pedagogical themes, examine emerging trends and controversies in the contemporary policy context, and explore issues of professional identity.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Introduction to Community Education (EDUA08062) AND Community Education: Theory, Policy and Politics (EDUA08063)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Articulate some main features of the historical emergence of community education ideas and practices
  2. Demonstrate an awareness of different traditions and ideologies of community education
  3. Analyse the role and intent of state involvement in community education activity
  4. Describe the range and boundaries of the contemporary community education sector.
  5. Evaluate and justify a stance in relation to a range of contemporary policy and practice issues
Reading List
Set texts:

MacGregor, S (2001) ¿The problematic community¿ in May, M, Page, R and Brunsdon, E (eds) Understanding Social Problems: Issues in Social Policy, Oxford, Blackwell:187-205. [Available on Learn]

Mckee, V., Oldfield, C. & Poultney, J. (2010) The Benefits of Youth Work. Lifelong Learning UK & Unite. Available online at:

Community Development Exchange (2011) What is Community Development? An information sheet. Available on Learn.

Crowther, J and Martin, I (2010) ¿Adult education in Scotland¿, Concept 1(3)
Available online at:

Smith, M (1988) Definition, Tradition and Change in Youth Work Developing Youth Work Milton Keynes: Open University Press, pp. 48-64.
Available online at:

Community development: Craig, G (1989) ¿Community work and the state¿ Community Development Journal, 24 (1) pp3-18. Electronic journal.

Illeris, K. (2003) Towards a Contemporary and Comprehensive Theory of Learning, International Journal of Lifelong Education, Vol.22, no.4, pp 411-42. Electronic journal.

Smith, M. K. (2007) What future for Youth Work? The Rank Foundation. Available online at:

Gilchrist A (2003) ¿Community development in the UK ¿ possibilities and paradoxes, Community Development Journal, 38 (1): 16-25. Electronic journal.

Biesta, G. (2006) ¿What¿s the point of lifelong learning if lifelong learning has no point? On the democratic deficit of policies for lifelong learning. European Educational Research Journal, vol 5 (3&4) 169180. Electronic journal.

de St Croix, T. (2008) Informal Educators or Bureaucrats and Spies? Detached Youth Work and the Surveillance State. Speech made to Federation for Detached Youth Work Conference, Wigan, 13th November 2008. (Available on Learn)

Ledwith, M (2011) ¿Why Empower?¿ in Community Development: A Critical Approach, Policy Press, Bristol pps 13-32. [Available on Learn]

Crowther, J. and Tett, L. (2011) ¿Critical and social literacy practices from the Scottish adult literacy experience: resisting deficit approaches to learning¿, Special Issue ¿ The Politics of Literacy, Literacy, 45(3).

Ord, J. (2008) A curriculum for Youth Work: The experience of the English youth service. Youth Studies Australia, 27 (4), pp. 49-57. Available online at:

Friedl, L (2012) ¿Always look on the bright side: The rise of assets based approaches in Scotland, Concept Vol 3 No. 2. Available online at

Martin, I. (2003) ¿Adult education, lifelong learning and citizenship: some ifs and buts¿, International Journal of Lifelong Education, 22 (6) 566-579. Electronic journal.

Wood, J. (2010) ¿Preferred Futures¿: Active Citizenship, Government and Young People¿s Voices. Youth & Policy, No. 105, pp. 50-70. Electronic journal.

Shaw, M (2013) ¿Community work today: Competing demands in practice¿, Concept Vol 4 No. 2. Electronic journal.

Crowther, J., MacLachlan, K. and Tett, L. (2010) ¿Adult literacy, learning identities and pedagogic practice¿, International Journal of Lifelong Education, 29, (6) 651-664. Electronic journal.

Tisdall, K., Davis, J. M. & Gallagher, M. (2008) Reflecting on Children and Young People¿s Participation in the UK. International Journal of Children¿s Rights, No. 16, pp. 343-354. Electronic journal.

Croft, S and Beresford, P (2011) ¿The politics of participation¿ in Craig, G, Mayo, M, Popple, K, Shaw, M and The Community Development Reader: History, Themes and Issues, Taylor, M (eds) Policy Press. Bristol.163-171. [Available on Learn]

Johnston, R. (1998) ¿Adult learning in civil society ¿ exploring roles for adult educators¿, SCUTREA 28th Annual Conference Proceedings, Researching Teaching and Learning: making connections in the education of adults. Available on Learn.

Coburn, A. (2011) Liberation or Containment: Paradoxes in youth work as a catalyst for powerful learning. Youth and Policy, No. 106, pp. 60-77. Electronic journal.

McFarlane (2006) ¿Paying attention to process: A lesson from the mental health user movement¿, in Shaw, M, Meagher, J and Moir, S (eds) Participation in Community Development: Problems and Possibilities, Edinburgh, Concept/Community Development Journal: 87-91. [Available on Learn]

Kane, L (2001) ¿The work of Paulo Freire¿, Chapter Two, Popular Education and Social Change in Latin America, London: Latin American Bureau. [Available on Learn]

Sinclair, S., McKendrick, J. H. & Scott, G. (2010) Failing young people? Education and aspirations in a deprived community. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, No.5, Vol. 1, pp.5-20. Electronic journal.

Paterson, K (2010) Community Engagement: For whom? in Emejulu, A and Shaw, M (eds) The Glasgow Papers: Critical Perspectives on Community Development, Community Development Publication. [Available on Learn]


Community Development Journal
Concept Journal free access at

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and understanding
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key concepts in community education.
Be confident to engage in discussion about the possibilities and limitations of community education
Autonomy, accountability and working with others
Be able to interrogate the relationship between policy and practice
Additional Class Delivery Information Timetable is arranged annually
Keywordscommunity education domains of practice
Course organiserMr Stuart Moir
Tel: (0131 6)51 6266
Course secretaryMrs Lesley Spencer
Tel: (0131 6)51 6373
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