Exploring Understanding of Critical Educational Theory to Analyse a Case Study from Community and Youth Work Practice. Essay

Words: 5098
Pages: 21

University of Sunderland

Community and Youth Work Studies (BA Hons)

3rd Year

Education in Community and Youth Work
CYW 307

Tutor : Ilona Buchroth
Student : Valerie Ender
Date : 16th January 2012
Part 1
Please use your understanding of critical educational theory to analyse a case study from community and youth work practice.

“Our aspiration is for a more socially mobile and just society, where young people can be the authors of their own life story.” (Tim Loughton MP, 2011)

In this essay I will explore my understanding of critical educational theory and how it relates to empowering young people to make informed choices about their own lives. I will look at ways Community and Youth work can enable young people to
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Pierre Bourdieu described this as ‘capital’. He used this theory to explain the reasons why young people from higher social classes will do better than those from lower social classes within the education system. The current educational system is based on an unequal distribution of capital.
Theories of capital are Pierre Bourdieu’s way of explaining the advantages and disadvantages afforded to people in varying social classes. People in higher social classes are privy to knowledge, experiences, education and belongings which encourage and enable success, from access to high status experiences to well-read family friends to the means with which to produce top quality homework. All of the stereotypical trappings middle and upper class life give those young people the skills, ability and aspiration to succeed educationally. Young people lower down on the socio-economic scale will always be playing catch up, if indeed they ever join the game at all.
Out of just over one hundred young people taking part in the ‘Are You Politically Important in Gateshead’ session, only one expressed an interest in going to University but she quickly added that she didn’t know if she could as her mother was a single parent. There was no further explanation offered, a shrug, again, suggesting that the status quo was accepted.
The belief that success is based on merit alone is challenged by Bourdieu.