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A social pedagogy approach to organisational change

by Janet Grauberg

Social pedagogy is developing in the UK as a relationship-based approach to working with children and young people, and increasingly other groups of people. We hear stories of how relationships are transformed, outcomes are improved and staff are motivated to give of their best. But we also hear how the organisations in which we work are not aligned to social pedagogy approaches, how they focus on risk rather than opportunity, process rather than people, and planning rather than transformational change.

SPPA Conference Poster: ‘Social Pedagogy as the foundation of a new socio-educational profession – Social Educator’

by Maria Fátima Barros Correia

Social Education has recently emerged as a profession in Portugal. This work intends to describe the role these professionals play in developing society and how it finds its theoretical framework in Social Pedagogy. Social Education is a social work imbued with a pedagogical character (educational dimension in society) and educational work carried out in the context of social action (socializing dimension of education). Social pedagogy is the “science of social education” because it is a field of knowledge that integrates, in an interdisciplinary way, different knowledge and produces methodological and theoretical models oriented to a reflection of social and cultural problems. Education constitutes a tool of social participation and socio-educational action and, consequently, of community development. Thus, Social Pedagogy seeks to respond to the potential of society as a factor of social development.

Education is not limited only to the school context, extending to all areas of people’s life in all dimensions, as essential scopes of the construction of citizenship. Social Education emerged in Portugal through the awareness that social work needed new educational policies, since the forms of traditional intervention / assistance were already reducing the need for social intervention. Through this new polyvalent profession, new methodologies of social intervention are verified in Portugal. However, Social Education is dynamic, as is social pedagogy. A social education that is meant to be transformative, capable of transforming the most unjust and oppressed social realities needs to be itself transformative, assuming new social reconfigurations, anchored in a permanent reflection on its existence.

SPPA Conference Poster: ‘The image of the rich child in social pedagogy’

by Cecile Remy

The poster will outline the methodology suggested to answer the following research question: “How the image of the rich child is influencing the work of social pedagogues?”. The poster will be a visual representation of the principle of ascending from the abstract to the concrete, used by Freire and Engestrom as a key principle to their definition of learning.

Understanding how the image of the rich child is being used by social pedagogues, how it interacts with other conceptualisations of the child (such as vulnerable, in need, etc…) is important in two aspects:

  • it allows the practitioner to understand the limitations of her own actions and where more institutional, structural changes need to be made to continue working with the image of the rich child,
  • the methodology I propose has the potential to generate new ideas and solutions to a specific problem, which could provide ways in which the institution and the practitioner can support the use of the image of the rich child.

 As the project is still at its beginning stages, it is difficult to evaluate outcomes, however, it is hoped the poster will generate discussion and comments about the method used and clarify questions around its implementation.

The poster will use the author’s own drawings and photographs and acknowledge others as necessary.

SPPA Conference Poster: ‘The meeting of two cultures: reflections from the Head, Heart, Hands programme’

by Simon Johr and Veronica Eva Perez

From 2012 to 2015 social pedagogues from different parts of Europe worked in the United Kingdom as part of the Head, Heart, Hands programme (HHH). The programme aimed to demonstrate how introducing social pedagogy into foster care could have a positive impact on fostering services. At the end of the programme the thirteen social pedagogues reflected on their experience. The group decided to capture their learnings in writing for a wider audience, with the aim of identifying areas of improvement and reinforcing current practices for enhancing the quality of care in the UK, and ultimately to contribute to the understanding of how social pedagogy could be integrated within the social care field in the British context. The results of this effort are two academic papers each looking at different aspects of the programme and its background. These articles provide practical examples from participants, explore the shared learning by looking at the impact it had on foster carers and children in care. They touch upon organisational aspects and the management of fostering services. They further examine the different cultural backgrounds in childcare of social work and social pedagogy, reflect upon similarities and differences as well as the levels of professionalisation in both traditions. Finally, the articles outline the findings that could support the merging of the two ways of practicing which proved to be possible through the programme, including the dilemmas the social pedagogues encountered during their journey.

Members only - SPPA Conference Poster: ‘Culture, connections and curation for the curious – creativity and challenge!’

by Patricia Walls

Kibble works with young people from 5 to 25 years and offers an array of services. We are striving to embed social pedagogy systemically within the organisation as we believe this way of thinking enhances well-being, better outcomes and growth mindsets for all.

To better connect ethos, learning and practice we constantly ask ourselves ‘Why do we do what we do?’ and ‘How can we do it better?’ We offer a variety of platforms to access to inspire curiosity, including online courses, curation, academic modules, taught and experiential learning. We would like to share how social pedagogy can be the thread which connects our strength based learning and practice and how we value being connected to a wider network including ThemPra, SPDN, SPPA, Strathclyde university etc. to support us.

We also gain inspiration for raising curiosity and creativity in the learning environment through the 6-day social pedagogy course as this establishes the environment, opportunities to feel comfortable, allow growth and realise potential.

Our way of thinking and developing framework for planning and facilitating learning ‘Learn it, live it, share it’ resonates with the charter, Item 8 – We value creative and playful approaches to lifelong learning that are theoretically informed, risk sensible and draw on people’s potential.

All of this is not without challenges and we would discuss these and share the positive experiences of what has worked well.

This means that our work is a journey, not a destination….

People with passion: Getting the right people around the table

by Helen Chambers, Principal Officer for Well-being at National Children's Bureau

In December 2007, the Arts Council England and Creative Partnerships funded an investigation to identify:

• how creativity can be embedded in the lives of the approximately 61,000
children and young people looked after in the care of local authorities
• the role of creativity in the lives of looked after children
• how this work relates to the ideas of social pedagogy as described by the Thomas Coram Research Unit at Institute of Education, London University.

This project with six local authorities and three high quality arts agencies was carried out by NCB between December 2007 and April 2008. This report summarises the project findings.

Richer lives: creative activities in the education and practice of Danish Pedagogues

by Helen Chambers, and Prof Pat Pertrie

The report describes a study visit to Denmark, undertaken in May 2008. It will examine the role of creative activities in the training and practice of social pedagogues. Throughout the report, we use the term “creative activities” to refer mainly to the visual and performing arts, while acknowledging that it has a wider application.

A learning framework for artist pedagogues

by Helen Chambers, and Prof Pat Pertrie

The National Children’s Bureau (NCB) project manager Helen Chambers and Professor Pat Petrie Director of the Centre for Understanding Social Pedagogy at the Institute of Education have developed a draft learning framework, for artists who work with looked after children, based on learning with three high quality arts organisations. We offer this as a working document for consideration and consultation by commissioners and colleagues nationally.

Fostering a creative relationship

by Helen Chambers, and Prof Pat Pertrie

Play and creative activities can help foster carers build warm and caring relationships with looked after children and young people. Looking after other people’s children can sound ordinary but foster carers need to be very creative to engage with and build relationships with looked after children and young people.

Social Pedagogy in the Classroom – Supporting Children and Young People in Care

by Emma Black, Michael Bettencourt and Claire Cameron

The hypothesis at the heart of this chapter is that you, the target reader of this book, have chosen to enter the teaching profession for a specific reason: you want to make a difference to the lives of the children and young people in your classroom.

As fellow professionals in the education sector, we recognise that demands such as implementing a high stakes accountability-driven curriculum can, without careful consideration, be to the detriment of supporting the emotional needs of the children and young people in your care. Drawing on the work of Cameron, Connelly and Jackson’s (2015) Educating Children and Young People in Care: Learning Placements and Caring Schools, we argue that for children to thrive and flourish, the integration of care and education in daily life is key. We believe this is particularly pertinent to those children and young people who have experienced difficult childhoods. As such, it is these children who are the focus of this chapter. In an effort to support you in establishing and maintaining the synergy between care and education, we present the field of social pedagogy for your consideration.

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