The creation of the Social Pedagogy Development Network in 2009, was a far-sighted initiative from ThemPra, a response to the interest in, and enthusiasm for, social pedagogy arising from practitioners, providers in the public and private sectors and from academics.
SPDN makes a unique contribution to our field in two ways:
- It is a network of interested parties who can be informed, consulted about and take part in current developments.
- It meets twice yearly, with meetings intending to bring people together – both newcomers to social pedagogy and old hands.
Why do we need SPPA and the SPDN?
Because SPDN has been so successful people often ask why we need SPPA. Interestingly, it was from those among the network of individuals and organisations involved in SPDN that the need for a SPPA arose. It was gradually becoming clear that for social pedagogy to flourish in the UK it needed some formal structures, to hold the standards for social pedagogy in the UK. It was felt that without this, there was the danger that organisations might describe their services and courses as ‘social pedagogy’ when, in fact, they fell short of the standards we have come to expect.
The different functions of SPPA and the SPDN
The Social Pedagogy Professional Association and the Social Pedagogy Development Network both serve different functions. Some of these appear below: