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Dancing Together: A Conversation About Youth and Adult Relational Authority in the Context of Education


Dancing Together: A Conversation About Youth and Adult Relational Authority in the Context of Education

Linds, Warren, Sammel, Alison and Goulet, Linda (2013) Dancing Together: A Conversation About Youth and Adult Relational Authority in the Context of Education. International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies, 4 (3). pp. 337-356. ISSN ISSN (online) 1920-7298

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Some ideas about authority in educational settings assume that authority is something that teachers possess and students don’t. Like others, the authors of this article conceive authority as shared. Shared authority occurs when the teacher recognizes students’ history and uses her or his authority to bring students’ knowledge, and thus their authority of knowing, to the learning. In this way, authority emerges in dialogical relationships between teachers and students. As three university educators in different contexts, we teach adults who will work with youth. Through dialogue and reflection of our attempts to implement the philosophies and practices that promote more meaningful interactions between adults and youth, we have come to recognize that each of us use authority differently at different times depending on the context. So we now use the term situational authority to describe how we seek to share authority. We invite those who work with youth to join us in these conversations and reflections as we investigate the sharing of authority within youth-adult interactions. We believe situational authority can transform power relations between adults and youth, while encouraging the emergence of new emancipatory relationships within, and amongst, youth. Together we explore ways in which situational authority invites, and supports, emancipatory practice.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Applied Human Sciences
Concordia University > Research Units > Centre for Human Relations and Community Studies
Item Type:Article
Authors:Linds, Warren and Sammel, Alison and Goulet, Linda
Journal or Publication:International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies
Date:July 2013
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • Centre for Human Relations and Community Studies
  • Department of Applied Human Sciences, Concordia University
  • Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Concordia University
Keywords:formal, informal and non-formal education, shared and relational authority, situational authority, emancipatory adult-youth relationships, transformational education, emancipatory teaching
ID Code:977454
Deposited By: Rosemary Reilly
Deposited On:22 Jul 2013 14:57
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:44
Additional Information:This Special Issue of the International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies focuses on emancipatory approaches to youth engagement and emerges from a two-day workshop hosted by the Applied Human Sciences Department at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec in June 2012. The workshop brought together youth, practitioners, and educators who work with youth in Australia, Finland, the United States, and Canada (including Montreal and other Canadian urban centres) in order to connect around promising practices.


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