what I do


seminars, training events and activities

I facilitate sessions and events that explore different aspects of informal education, social pedagogy and work with children, young people, families and communities. One of the unusual ways I have of doing this is walking in central London and discovering some important landmarks in the development of such work. I also undertake individual and group supervison.


research and writing

I am currently working on a new book that explores working with young people in difficult times.

Among my books are Creators not Consumers (1980, 1982), Organise! (1981), Developing Youth Work (1988), Local Education (1994), Informal Education (1996, 1999, 2005, 2018 with Tony Jeffs), The Art of Helping Others (2008, with Heather Smith), Youth Work Practice (2010, edited with Tony Jeffs), Journeying Together (2011, edited with Alan Rogers) and Youth Work and Faith (2015, edited with Naomi Stanton and Tom Wylie).


learning materials and programme development

Over the last few months, I have undertaken a major rework of two second year 20 credit modules for the YMCA George Williams College/Coventry University Children, young people and families BA Hons programme. I have also developed a new module – working with systems and networks, and am working on a new year three module on critical theory.

hcs2 guidehcs2 reader tgw2 guide  tgw2 readerwsn2 guide

These materials are available in different formats – print, screen, phone and an A4 Open Dyslexic version. We can also make them available as kindle files.

Another element of my current work is working as part of a team building a new level 3 Children, young people and families programme that also leads into to a recognized Access to Higher Education qualification.



I write different types of handbooks. These include course handbooks and guides, for example, to researching practice.

Researching practice

This handbook, for example is available in different formats: Researching practice (print) | Researching practice (screen) | Researching practice (phone) | Researching practice (open dyslexic format) | Researching practice (kindle)



virtual learning environments

I have done a lot of work on Moodle environments. Much of my experience has been with the development of ymoodle for the YMCA George Williams College.

ymoodle provides the platform for programmes running from levels 2-7. Students can access learning resources, submit work, get feedback and join forums. Managers and supervisors can also access support via the system.

One of the key aspects of ymoodle is a concern to make using it more of a web experience than is usual with virtual learning environments.



I founded and  continue to edit infed.org – a website that specializing in the theory and practice of informal education, social pedagogy, lifelong learning, social action, and community learning and development. It is used by millions of people across the world.


Mark K Smith