Course Title: Knowing Young People

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Knowing Young People

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018

Course Coordinator: Kathy Edwards

Course Coordinator Phone: 99258260

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.2.29

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course, you will consider the various ways that we ‘know’ young people in contemporary local and global contexts. In particular you will:

• Discuss and learn about frameworks for understanding concepts such as ‘childhood’, ‘youth and ‘adolescence’
• Consider these as historical and social constructions
• Consider other themes by which we know young people such as ‘risk’, ‘delinquency’, and as ‘developing’
• Be introduced to some significant themes in the sociology of youth
• Be introduced to a range of prominent theorists who have in some way contributed to how we ‘know’ young people
• Consider how young people live and understand their own lives, and counterpoise this against these ‘official’ accounts
• Consider themes such as age-based discrimination and stereotyping in terms of how we ‘know’ young people and understand ‘youth’

The main aim will be to facilitate your understanding of the ‘lived lives’ of young people today, and the influence of these ‘ways of knowing’ on these lives.
The knowledge you gain in this course will provide a foundation for understanding young people and the context of youth work, or work with young people in other contexts.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

• Explain how concepts key to youth work, such as childhood, youth and adolescence developed
• Assess the influence of these key concepts on popular and expert understandings of young people today
• Employ the insights of key theorists / theories in understanding the lives of young people today
• Critically assess and evaluate these concepts and theories
• Assess the impact of key ways of knowing young people on the lives of young people today
• Challenge manifestations of age-based discrimination and stereotyping of young people

You will be assessed on your development of the following program learning outcomes in this course:

• Articulate the main features of official and expert discourses and social science narratives that characterise childhood and reflect critically on the relationship between those accounts and specific interventions into young peoples lives.

• Identify key influences that inform youth related practices and policies, and critically reflect on those influences and practices.

• Critically analyse and present arguments about various forms of evidence and reasoning.

• Evaluate social science-based theoretical insights and research findings in your own professional practice, and apply more broadly to relevant policy and human service fields as well as public debates.

• Understand the various historical and contemporary interventions made into the lives of young people.

• Recognize prejudice, emotions and feelings and how they influence action.

• Articulate and practice good youth-work in the light of ideas about justice, equity, respect and democratic citizenship.

• Synthesize international perspectives on issues relating to young people’s status and well-being.

• Outline the social and cultural context in which youth work practice occurs.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be engaged in learning that involves a range of activities both face to face and online such as lectures, tutorials, group and class discussion, group activities and individual research.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, which may include a course reader, books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities.

Assessment may include reports, essays, critical analyses, reflective writing, tests, visual displays and exegeses, projects and presentations, individually and in groups.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

  •  If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
  • A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
  • Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: