Community Engagement: A Critical Guide for Practitioners




Shaw, Mae
Crowther, Jim

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The motivation for this critical guide to community engagement comes primarily from our experience over many years as teachers on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of community education. These programmes have historically been validated both by the university and the appropriate professional body, so they are firmly located at the interface between academic and vocational standards; between theory and practice. We have found that these different, sometimes contradictory, demands create a productive dynamic which has been at the core of our teaching, our writing and our relationships with the broader field of practice. We consider that an engagement with significant theoretical frameworks, an awareness of important historical traditions and an empathetic identification with the social reality of marginalized groups are all necessary in order to practise critical community engagement.



community, engagement, guide, education, democracy


Shaw, M., Crowther, J. Community Engagement: A Critical Guide for Practitioners. May 2017