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Durham e-Theses
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Alcohol and youth work

Wright, Linda (1998) Alcohol and youth work. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis is an analysis of a curriculum development process used to train youth workers to raise and respond to alcohol issues. Within an interpretivist framework, a seven-stage model of curriculum planning was developed. Stage 1 involved examination of the literature on youth work and alcohol and youth work training, an empirical needs assessment study (via a national survey and in-depth consultation in one youth service) and examination of the results in relation to the literature on young people and alcohol. Stage 2 used the stage 1 data to define the rationale, which in turn informed stages 3-5, formulation of aims and learning outcomes, learning activities and teaching resources. Stage 6, delivery, involved pilot courses in in- service and initial-training contexts. Illuminative evaluation was used to assess the training process (Stage 7) and its impact on youth worker practice. The staged model was found to be a practical curriculum development framework, particularly combined with an action-research approach. The study confirmed the importance of thorough training needs assessment, including the needs of service users. Youth workers were found to typically adopt a reactive approach to alcohol issues, which focused on individual young drinkers rather than structural determinants of alcohol-related harm. The pilot courses were successful in stimulating planned alcohol education initiatives. Features of training that enabled youth workers to tackle alcohol issues included: a clear rationale based on youth work principles, harm-reduction goals, understanding the place and meaning of alcohol in young people's lives, a practice focus and managerial support. The study discusses the implications of the findings for youth work training and informal education practice and suggests a strategy for fixture development of the alcohol training materials.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1998
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 11:44

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