Large Group Work: Identity Development and Its Significance for Achieving Race Equality

Woodger, David. 2015. Large Group Work: Identity Development and Its Significance for Achieving Race Equality. Group Analysis, 48(1), pp. 74-89. ISSN 0533-3164 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article examines and analyses the effectiveness of experiential large group work (between 24–35 students) in delivering community and youth work training at Goldsmiths1. It specifically focuses on students’ development and experience in their understanding of racism and identity. The training has refined a model of learning and teaching that combines large group work and experiential learning. It is in this arena that students explore and critically reflect on their life and work experiences. They learn to process and articulate their feelings and understandings across a wide range of issues that come from learning how to inwardly reflect and to develop an awareness of themselves and change. The article explores the experience of group work training and the significance of students’ development of their racial identity in effectively addressing racism. It draws on both the work of Paulo Freire (1972; 1995) on education and Pat de Maré (1975; 1991) on large groups.

The article begins by examining some of the literature on both race and large groups followed by an exploration of racial identity and its development in the group work process in terms of distinct phases. It then discusses the importance of the large group and its relevance to development of racial identities. It concludes by highlighting the significance of the issue of racial identity in addressing racism.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)


March 2015Published
12 January 2015Published Online

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Date Deposited:

17 Nov 2015 14:50

Last Modified:

24 Jun 2019 13:29

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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