Module 2: perspectives on working with young people: facilitator's guide

2.2 Beliefs and values regarding young people

Page last updated: 2004

Ask learners to consider some of their beliefs and values about young people and how these may impact on the way they interact with them.

Task - written exercise

Learners can complete the following task individually and then discuss in small groups. The results for the whole group can then be plotted so that a picture of the pattern of the values and attitudes in the group starts to emerge. Alternatively this task could be run as a large group exercise with a continuum line running the length of the room and learners positioning themselves along the continuum for each statement.

Learners should indicate whether they strongly disagree, disagree, are neutral, agree, or strongly agree with the following statements.
  1. Young people don't care about the future.
  2. Young people only want to spend time with their mates.
  3. Young people think that adults don't understand them.
  4. Young people are irresponsible.
  5. Young people only think about themselves.
  6. Young people who 'hang out' in the local area can't be trusted.
  7. Young people are difficult to communicate with.

Brainstorm/group exercise

Question - Debrief. Ask learners to consider the range of views in the room. Are the views in the group representative of the broader community? Consider some of the myths the general community may believe about young people. How do you think most people develop their opinions about young people?

Task - workplace learning activity

Learners to complete the following exercise in their workplace. Facilitators should allow time for feedback in a later session.

Top of pageInterview someone you know (preferably in your workplace) about their values and beliefs about young people.

Some of the issues that could be explored in the interview might be:
  • What age do children become young people?
  • How do you get along with young people?
  • Do you enjoy spending time with young people?
  • What are young people's strengths?
  • What do you see as young people's weaknesses?
  • Do you think young people contribute to society? In what way?
The purpose of the interview is to understand how values and beliefs about young people can be as diverse as young people themselves. People develop their values from their environment, their culture, personal experience, their own adolescence and through the media's portrayal of young people.