Supporting interests and sharing power: Insights from a scottish youth program

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Light Up Learning (LUL) is a youth program in Scotland that supports young people in pursuing their curiosities and exploring their interests in a school-based informal learning setting. This article draws on interview and participant observation data to examine the social organization of teaching and learning activity within LUL. As a school-based program focused on supporting youth in pursuing their interests through the cultivation of a caring adult-youth relationship, LUL offers an empirical case that brings together insights from youth development and interest-driven learning research. Examination into the verbal and material interactions that shape adult-youth interactions yields insight into how to challenge normatively hierarchical power dynamics between teachers and learners toward the instantiation of a more relational pedagogy. By employing the pedagogic moves of continually foregrounding youths' interests, honoring youth expertise, and making space for youth's ideas, LUL youth workers created an environment within a school setting where youth felt both free and supported to learn through deeply and widely pursuing their interests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-92
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Youth Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© New articles in this journal are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. This journal is published by the University Library System, University of Pittsburgh and is cosponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Press. The Journal of Youth Development is the official peer-reviewed publication of the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals and the National AfterSchool Association.


  • Adult-youth relations
  • Interest-driven learning
  • Relational pedagogy
  • Youth development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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