At a time of heightened interest and concern over young people in our communities, how various agencies and professions work with them, is under scrutiny and attack. Ord suggests that: "Youth work cannot defend itself against erroneous and rival conceptions of practice unless it can sufficiently articulate its own. Through providing a framework for the creation of authentic curricula for youth work...this book offers one of the means by which individual workers, services and the profession as a whole can promote its unique educational practice." He continues: "This is not a pessimistic book...It is critical and points out weaknesses...but its primary purpose is to offer solutions." As Bernard Davies points out, this does not make it 'a hints-and-tips manual: far from it, [as] its prescriptions are contextualised in a wider discourse on, in particular, educational theory and practice...Jon Ord, head-on, systematically confronts the historic and current controversies, not least by engaging critically with some of youth work's academic and policy-making big hitters.'
Ord marshals evidence from youth work and draws on a wide, authoritative literature from philosophy, educational psychology, sociology, management and politics. Crucially, he presents and reviews material from recent local authority curriculum documents, in a way that has not been done before.