In my last Round Up post I mentioned a new research report on 'Positive Youth Development'. Well, I'm rather excited to be able to tell you we'll be having a 'research launch' for the paper on the 21st January 2008 from 10am till 12 noon at the Thistle Bloomsbury in London.
I'll be co-presenting with Sarah Schulman on what Positive Youth Development is, and we'll be looking at what it has to offer the landscape of policy and provision for young people in the UK.
And you are most welcome to join us.
What is Positive Youth Development?
Well – that's what we were trying to explore in the paper.
Positive Youth Development as a concept has its roots in US based work with young people. It draws upon ideas from the science of adolescent development to inform the design and structure of 'developmentally appropriate' programmes, activities and settings for work with young people.
In the US there is a strong Positive Youth Development that is seeking to create a positive 'public idea' about youth – challenging negative attitudes towards young people and replacing them with a vision for young people as thriving members of communities.
In the United Kingdom the recent Ten Year Strategy for young people referenced a number of Positive Youth Development sources when it set out a vision for young people – although the substance of the document was only an incomplete shift towards Positive Youth Development ideas.
Why should I care?
I first came into contact with Positive Youth Development (PYD) when co-facilitating particition training for health professionals in the US in 2006. Since exploring it further, I've found it to be a school of thought with a lot to offer thinking about young people in the UK:
- PYD can help us articulate a vision for thriving young people
- PYD can help us think about what it means for an activity to be structured – or why it is that positive activities will be so positive
- PYD encourages us to shift from measuring deficit to measuring the positive assets young people develop
- PYD offers both an intellectual, and a practical, framework for thinking about work with young people
PYD ideas shouldn't be wholesale imported into the UK context – but I strongly suspect there is a lot to be gained from a deeper conversation about what they have to offer us. And it's that conversation we're hoping to make a start on on the 21st January in London.
The research launch
If you're interested in coming along then it would be great to see you. There will be refreshments available from 10am. To register to come you'll simply need to let ritaK@nya.org.uk know who you are, any organisation you'll be representing, and any special requirements you might have – and Rita will send you the full paper and final details of the venue.
Attachment: Davies and Schulman – Positive Youth Development Literature Review.pdf