Story-telling workshop programme: a template

Youth work story telling workshop

Venue, date, times, etc.

Overall purpose and aims

Through the process of describing and analysing an example of practice, participants will be encouraged to:

  • reflect critically on if and how this is ‘youth work’;
  • explore what youth work practice means for them in their current work settings;
  • consider whether there is a need for an on-going local ‘alliance’ for youth workers;
  • contribute ideas and suggestions for IDYW’s future role and activity.

Programme Total time: c. 2.5- 3 hours

20 mins Full group

  • Introductions
  • Origins and context of IDYW story-telling workshops
  • Aims and methods of this workshop

75-90 mins Small groups


Describe an example of your practice which represents you practising as a youth worker

3-4 participants’ give brief (2-3 minute) outlines of relevant ‘stories’

The group chooses one story for fuller description and analysis

The chosen story is described in detail

The group questions the story-teller to:

– as necessary, provide more information etc;

– clarify key processes, worker’s interventions, dilemmas and uncertainties, possible outcomes, what was ‘unfinished’, etc;

– in relation to the IDYW ‘cornerstones of youth work’ (over) – clarify how/how far this was – and/or was not – distinctively youth work.

15-20 mins Break

60 mins Small groups/full group exercise

 Sustaining and developing youth work

 – Are you trying to do this?

– If so, how?

Post-its re actions; possibilities; barriers

 Key messages from the workshop:

– For individuals

– For IDYW

– For any local collective work

The IDYW ‘cornerstones’ of youth work

  • The primacy of the voluntary principle; the freedom for young people to enter into and withdraw from Youth Work as they so wish.
  • A commitment to conversations with young people which start from their concerns … out of which opportunities for new learning and experience can be created.
  • The importance of association, of fostering supportive relationships, of encouraging the development of autonomous groups and ‘the sharing of a common life’.
  • A commitment to valuing and attending to the here-and-now of young people’s experience rather than just focusing on ‘transitions’.
  • An insistence upon a democratic practice, within which every effort is made to ensure that young people play the fullest part in making decisions about anything affecting them.
  • The continuing necessity of recognising that young people are not a homogeneous group and that issues of class, gender, race, sexuality, disability and faith remain central.
  • The essential significance of the youth worker themselves, whose outlook, integrity and autonomy is at the heart of fashioning a serious yet humorous, improvisatory yet rehearsed educational practice with young people.

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