Social pedagogy is inherently creative. Social pedagogy thrives not on rulebooks but principles and contingencies. Social pedagogues often respond to a situation by saying ‘it depends’, and draw on theory, experience and team work to help them decide what next. Creativity plays a crucial part in helping decide what next. Today, creative thinking is highly relevant to social work and social workers. Creativity is also invoked by the ‘common third’, a concept that values mutual curiosity and exploring an interest or phenomena jointly, building relationships along the way. Participating in creative arts activities supports wellbeing and recovery from mental health difficulties (Ander et al. 2013).
Creativity can be seen as both integrating creative methods into everyday practice of working with people, and creative ways of teaching and learning.
In 2009, Chambers and Petrie published the Learning Framework for Artist Pedagogues, drawing on insights from Danish social pedagogic approaches to working with the arts. The LFAP gives a theoretical grounding and a tool for reflection to help artists and social care practitioners and educators (of all kinds) think through the purpose and potential of working creatively with specific groups of people.
Providers of social pedagogy courses frequently use creativity as a theme for learning, whether through participatory approaches, games, yoga, music, exploring wild areas, among many other possibilities.
This conference, hosted by the Social Pedagogy Professional Association (SPPA), will be an invigorating, refreshing, and quirky opportunity to hear about all kinds of creative practices, approaches, theories and frameworks. SPPA invites members and non- members to hear from leading creative thinkers and practitioners about the contribution social pedagogy makes to quality of life when working with disadvantaged groups.
The International Journal of Social Pedagogy will be launching its special issue on Creativity at the SPPA conference.
SPPA is the professional home of social pedagogy in the UK. It is a membership based organisation that exists to support continuous professional development in social pedagogy in all areas of the UK. It holds standards for social pedagogy qualifications and endorses social pedagogy learning programmes. New members are always welcome.
Who should attend: all those interested in a social pedagogic approach to delivering care, education and health services, from practitioners to policy makers, and students to academics. You might be working in early childhood education and care, family support, youth work, foster care, social work, in day care services for older people, mental health services or residential child care. There is a place in social pedagogy for all of you. There will be a special discounted rate for students and non-wage earners.
is a participatory performance maker, trainer and facilitator who uses theatre to connect people and create playful safe spaces for exploration. She is the founder and artistic director of small performance adventures, a company creating employment and development opportunities with and for people in recovery. Her latest show “The Washing Up” created with artists and participants in addiction recovery uses theatre, storytelling and songs to explore our common experiences through this every day act. It was premiered at Brighton Festival in 2018 and toured nationally in March 2019, alongside an engagement programme that saw community groups with experience of addiction, homelessness and sex work become part of the show.
She has worked in prisons, hospitals, youth clubs, community centres, mental health and addiction recovery settings for over twenty-five years. Highlights include designing and delivering a theatre and arts programme at HMP Styal through TiPP, being artist in residence for the Department of Corrections in Connecticut and delivering a pilot engagement programme for women in PIPES (psychologically informed planned environments) in UK women’s prisons for Clean Break.
She was a founder member and then Artistic Director of The Men’s Room, an arts and social care charity working with young men with experience of sex work, homelessness and the criminal justice system. Together they created performances that were shown in tents, hairdressers, The Royal Exchange and Comedy Store as well as a visual art exhibition displayed on NCP car park railings in Manchester.
In recent years she has been developing her practice to focus on the use of everyday objects and experience to connect on a one-to-one basis for a sideways look into people’s lives. In 2019, she was lead researcher in a creative evaluation on women’s experience through the criminal justice system and women’s centres in Manchester creating a book called ‘Life Objects’ which documented women’s individual and collective stories through a collection of every day objects. In 2018 she was Brighton People’s Theatre and Brighton Festival’s artist in residence visiting food banks, youth groups and community centres using objects to talk about people’s environments with the project “Random acts of neighbourliness”.
Her teaching and training includes work with Manchester and Salford Universities and Central School of Speech and Drama. In 2018 she was UK lead artist working with PORE, a recovery led visual arts organisation, on a European project running creative training with workers in the field of recovery.
Chris has recently left Surrey County Council having spent the last 15 years leading on the development of its restorative practice and services to children and families.
Chris first joined Surrey as Divisional Manager-county services with Surrey Youth Justice Service , with lead responsibility for restorative justice, community reparation, referral orders, victims, mentoring and volunteers. Chris then became the Restorative Practice lead as part of the Senior Management Team of the youth Support Service with lead responsibilities for restorative practice development, leading a restorative practice learning and development strategy in the support of restorative leadership, restorative organisation and service delivery with criminal justice, care services, accommodation and education provider partners, towards a more ‘restorative surrey’.
Previously Chris worked for Crime Concern as a National Programme Manager as the RJ lead, working with policy makers (YJB/Home Office) and practitioners and community groups in the statutory, voluntary and community sectors, as a trainer, researcher and project/capacity builder.
Chris’s most recent focus has been in the development of Surrey’s YRI (Youth Restorative Intervention) and Community Conferencing but he has also worked to develop restorative practice in wider community and organisational settings including schools. Chris has also worked closely alongside Surrey’s Social Pedagogy in support of Children in Care, and particularly, to support and develop understanding of the synergies between socials pedagogy and restorative practice.
Chris was a member of the Restorative Justice Consortium, now the RJC (Restorative Justice Council) since its inception 19 years ago, and was a member of the Standards and Accreditation (SAB) sub group of the RJC board. Chris was also a member of the MoJ /RJ Action Plan Implementation Board.
Chris has previously been a Project Manager, setting up a Mediation and Reparation service based in Southampton and South-West Hampshire as part of the Wessex YOT pilot. Before this he worked for Barnados as both a Youth Justice Team Manager and a senior practitioner in youth justice. During this period (prior to the Crime and Disorder Act, 1998) he was involved in setting up a Restorative Conferencing and Family Conferencing service for young offenders and victims of crime. Prior to this Chris spent many years working for local authorities as a children and families social worker specialising in child protection work. Chris has a CQSW and MA in Social Policy and Social Work.