‘Do you really want me to tell ya!’ critical learning in engaging young people in contact with the justice system as peer educators with social work students

Johanna O'Shea, Emma McGinnis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper outlines and evaluates an active and experiential learning project, which gave young people involved with the justice system, a voice as peer educators engaging with social work students outside of the traditional educational institution. The project had two key interconnecting elements. Firstly, by engaging a hidden population of young people in a realistic and meaningful way, it enabled them to share their experiences, and allowed students to understand the complexity of what it means to be socially excluded. Secondly, through this active participation process the young people began to see education as a desirable goal.
The project took place over three months and included 10 social work students and 13 young people involved with the justice system. Creative use of multimedia facilitated production of a learning resource to capture the young people’s lived experiences with statutory social work and justice systems. Young people were fundamentally challenged in their beliefs about themselves being involved in education to achieve a qualification. Students were challenged in their creativity and versatility responding to the task, when collaborating with ‘hard to reach’ young people. They were furthermore challenged in terms of their attitudes and assumptions in relation to offending and social justice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Work Education
Early online date8 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Sep 2019

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