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Durham University

Policy, Professions and Communities Research Group


Publication details for Professor Sarah Banks

Banks, S. & Vickers, T. (2006). Empowering communities through active learning: challenges and contradictions. Journal of Community Work and Development 8: 83-104.

Author(s) from Durham


This article critically examines a regional programme of community development
learning in the context of current UK government policies to develop and engage
‘active communities’ in neighbourhood and civil renewal. It outlines the positive
outcomes of offering focussed community development learning at local level in
developing individual confidence and skills and enhancing community networks. It
also highlights the limitations of working to individual training/qualifications targets,
prescribed outputs and pre-defined curricula in terms of achieving ‘active
communities’ that are either fit for community governance or for more radical
collective action for social change.