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PG Diploma Community Learning and Development


Course Title

Changing Practices in Community Work

Course Code


Student Name
Student ID Number/ User ID

Dawn Cara Brown




Date of Submission


Date of Marking


Course Tutor

Aileen Ackland

Cross Marker

Chris Aldred

Date of Cross Marking


CGS Grade


Your submission will be judged using the Common Grade Scale (CGS) descriptors and

Only two attempts are allowed.

Please note that the resubmission fee is 20. Apply, if applicable at


Specific Criteria and Feedback Comments

Critical analysis of community work in two contrasting settings


Not Met


You use the framework of top down or bottom up to contrast and compare the two settings.
It was helpful that you introduced this distinction before describing the two contexts as the
viewer had the alternatives in mind as they listened. However, in the main, you describe the
work in each setting and the viewer has to do a lot of the analysis against this distinction for
themselves. The work described in the Garioch partnership does appear to be much more
bottom up but an explicit discussion of how you perceive the differences and the tensions
and challenges in achieving bottom up work, given a critical awareness of the discourses
both historical and current, would have developed this part of the presentation into a more
critical analysis. For example, you refer to an asset based approach but dont examine this
concept as critically as you might, through engaging with some of the critiques as well as the
rationales. You show a good deal of insight into some of the issues in the practice in the
GNP, but to be more analytic, your reflections might have made connections with theory and
research, using the 4th lens.

Discussion of the history of stages and settings and changing

discourses, including the link to current practice

You have undertaken a great deal of reading and show that you are well informed about key
developments in community work. I like that you make some links between changing social
circumstances and community work and the detailed timeline includes an intriguing
reference to the political colour of the government at periods in the timeline. This required
more analysis though the assumptions underlying different policy shifts were not subject to
examination and there was no explicit reflection on the underlying ideologies at different
times, which might have helped make the connection between the hue of political parties
and the policies they produced. Overall, you tell me a lot without analysing the details
sufficiently. For example you start with two definitions of community development but there
is no discussion of the underlying assumptions embedded in each. They are also quite
similar are there others that would conflict with these?

Analysis of the professional capabilities required to work both in

and across stages and settings

Your own values in the work you do are evident in the quotes you choose to summarise
community work and capacity building; these are left to speak for themselves however, as if
they are undisputable. They needed a bit more critical reflection to achieve an analysis. For
example you quote Craig, about empowerment. He speaks of increased degree of control
and measurable impact. These are qualifiers which might beg the question of how much
empowerment is empowerment!
Your professional capabilities in both settings are evident, Dawn, and you do contrast the
two settings in significant ways; however, more critical analysis of the professional
capabilities required to achieve genuinely bottom up work in what many believe is a
hegemonic neo-liberal policy context would have strengthened the criticality of your
reflections. Try to engage with some of the critiques and build an argument that
acknowledges that there are conflicting perspectives.

Task 2


will be evidence of:

Your participation as a member of the group
Planning to engage others in professional dialogue
Providing resources to support dialogue
Synthesis of evidence from a range of perspectives in
relation to a current issue of professional significance.

Evidence not yet available

General Assessment Criteria:

Advanced knowledge, understanding and enhanced capacity must be demonstrated in work
which should exhibit the these qualities of postgraduate performance:
ability to address all parts of the task and to synthesise ideas and information
analysis that goes beyond description and demonstrates critical thinking
exploration of underlying assumptions, theories, perspectives and policy foundations

ability to make insightful links between theory and practice, to direct and support change
and development

impartiality and balance in argument and inference

sharpness and appropriateness of judgement when dealing with complex issues or
clarity and coherence through the effective and critical selection and presentation of
accordance with academic writing conventions

This is weaker
this time, Dawn.
Links between
theory and
practice are
there but they
tend to be used
to support your
own view of

General Comments on this Course Submission

It is clear that you have read widely, Dawn, and are well informed about the policy context and different
understandings of community work. You have a tendency to concentrate on those you agree with and
sometimes present them as if they are indisputable. I felt you did not draw out the tensions in alternative
discourses sufficiently despite putting forward the distinction between top down and bottom up
approaches. Is the distinction as clear as that? What if we consider some of the different ways of
understanding power is bottom up genuinely initiated by communities or could it sometimes be a
subtle way of delivering local people up to policy? You have read some of the critiques of, for instance,
asset based approaches and needed to engage with these more explicitly here to make your
discussions more critical.
What a pity Dawn! There is lots of material in here and it is a perfectly good description of the work of
two partnerships you have been involved with but it doesnt offer sufficient insights into the challenges or
issues of working in these partnerships or of the learning you have taken from these experiences. There
is a tendency in both descriptions to suggest that things are really as they appear without questioning
whether others saw your role in the same way.

Comments on Student Next Steps Statement from Previous Course

Your reading is evident but try to deliberately engage with conflicting points of view and discuss how you
make sense of the difference between them.
Next Steps
Remember to explore alternative perspectives on any discourse - such as asset based approaches
-and when you discuss them, explicitly acknowledge the conflicts between the different views and make
your own argument .

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constructive comments which are vital to the development and improvement
the learning experience of future participants.