Doing it differently: youth leadership and the arts in a creative learning programme.

Sara Bragg, Helen Manchester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

Notions of youth ‘leadership’, partnership or collaborating with young people as ‘service users’, are currently being endorsed and elaborated across a very broad spectrum of thinking, policymaking and provision. This paper argues that if we want to understand this phenomenon, we should not look in the first instance to young people as the prime source of commentary or agency: instead, we need to understand it as a way of ‘doing’ – in this instance - the arts or education differently. The paper draws on research into how one organisation, the flagship English ‘creative learning’ programme, Creative Partnerships, run in schools between 2002 and 2011, attempted
to ‘put young people at the heart’ of its work. It argues that youth leadership should be analysed as it is enacted within and through specific sites and practices, and in terms of the subjectivities, capacities and narratives it offers to teachers, students, artists and others involved. The result is a more ambivalent account of participatory
approaches, acknowledging their dilemmas as well as their achievements, and observing that they reconfigure power relations in sometimes unexpected, and sometimes all-too-familiar, ways.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUNESCO Observatory Multi-Disciplinary Research in the Arts
Volume2
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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