Describe what you are recording about. Identify whether it was a journal paper, book chapter; practice observation; taught theory; lecture or other.
In this recording I am going to discuss my thoughts from a panel discussion that I attended in the Belfast Bible College. The panel was made up from 3 people, Geraldine who works for the YMCA, Jamie who is from the Baha'i faith and Gail who has experience working in both faith based and secular youth provision.
What was the main message? What did I understand was being said by the author; lecturer; practitioner etc… What argument was used to support their position?
Gail talked about her work in the YMCA and that she promotes her work through actions and speech. She talked about values being based on your background, you get them from your family, community and they can be influenced by your religious background. Faith drives values.
Jamie talked about his religious beliefs as accepting everyone's beliefs as they believe no one God is higher than another. The Baha'i teachings are people should serve others and that is the basis of the work they do with young people, servicing their community. On the subject of sexual orientation Jamie talked about the community not being discriminative against people who identify as LGBT.
Gail discussed her thoughts based on her own experiences of working in faith based and secular youth work settings. Secular youth work is more exposed to diversity, young people using this provision will be from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. Faith based youth work is like a bubble, surrounded by people whose thoughts are the same and there is no challenges.
What is my evaluation of what was being presented / observed? What evidence do I have that either supports or contradicts the above?
(Refer to own experience; broader reading etc...)
I agreed with Geraldine on her thoughts on promoting youth work through your actions and speech. How we feel inside will influence our thoughts and how we conduct ourselves. Burnard's model of self explains how our thoughts, feelings and behaviour are interlinked.
Your actions and language are a vital part in building positive relationships with young people but they can also be barriers to young people feeling included, accepted and being their true selves.
Many LGBT young people who I have talked to on the subject of faith based youth work said that the negative statements towards the LGBT&T community by some youth workers was one reason they didn't feel they could approach them as someone to talk to about their sexual orientation.
As a youth worker you need to be aware of your language, use of words or statements you make. Young people growing up and becoming aware of their sexual orientation; they are attracted sexually, physically and emotionally to someone of same gender, can be harmed by homophobia before anyone, even themselves recognise they are gay.