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 is a special discounted rate for students and non-wage earners.
Kate McCoy 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 an 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.
Helen Chambers has an MSc in Health Promotion and worked in a variety of roles developing and managing national programmes to promote the health and well-being of looked after children. Latterly much of Helen’s has work focused on arts and culture in the lives of children and young people, especially those in care. Whilst working for National Children’s Bureau, Helen linked extensively with Institute of Education to investigate how arts and creative practice can enrich the lives of children and carers within social pedagogic practice. With Professor Pat Petrie she developed “The artist pedagogue learning framework”, working with artists, care staff and children. Helen’s publications and training materials include “Healthy Care” publications, “People with Passion: embedding creativity in the lives of looked after children”, and co-author of “Richer Lives: creative activities in the education and practice of Danish social pedagogues”. She is passionate about the value of the arts and culture in everyday life, and for the contribution of social pedagogic care practice to enable this through partnership working and training of arts and care staff.
Having qualified as a social pedagogue and social worker in Germany, Alex has worked in a number of European countries. Her areas of expertise include children in residential care and social pedagogy family support (SPFH). Her experiences of working in child protection, child placement teams, leaving and aftercare, and family group conferencing services have given her a wealth of social pedagogy knowledge coupled with British social services experience, which enables her to creatively adapt courses and activities to the needs of individuals and organisations. Alex joined ThemPra in 2009 and have since led and co-facilitated different social pedagogy courses and implementation programmes with various local authorities, voluntary and charitable organisations throughout the UK. She is a passionate experiential learning facilitator, using creative methods to bring groups together along their social pedagogy journeys.
Gabriel is the co-founder of ThemPra Social Pedagogy, a social (pedagogical) enterprise supporting the development of social pedagogy in the UK through short courses, capacity-building programmes and strategic development. He studied social pedagogy, social work and sociology of childhood in Germany, Denmark, and the UK. His practice experience is mainly in play work, youth work, children’s participation and advocacy, as well as online learning, organisational development and group facilitation. He has been leading the Erasmus+ project developing a Massive Open Online Course in Social Pedagogy across Europe, which is now available on Coursera. Since its inception in 2009, he has been coordinating the Social Pedagogy Development Network, and he is also jointly editing the International Journal of Social Pedagogy. Gabriel is passionate about helping people discover their innate potential and about working together to make this world a place wherein every person can thrive.
Lowis is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire and joint Course Lead for the MA in Social Pedagogy Leadership. I have run various training sessions around social pedagogy for several Local Authority teams and third sector organisations. I am also the lead for the UK partner team in the Erasmus funded Massive Open On-Line Course (MOOC) project, Social Pedagogy In Europe. Headed by ThemPra, the project has developed a short on-line course looking at the role of social pedagogy across Europe.
Previously I worked as a qualified social worker in a Leaving Care Team, supporting young care leavers to live independently. My first role was as a Youth Offending Team Officer for the Manchester YOT service. Because of my previous social work experience, I understand the link between social pedagogy and social work and feel excited about the developments within the UK to embed social pedagogy into direct practice.
Ali is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), where she teaches on a number of programmes including social work and social pedagogy. Ali qualified as a social worker in 1993 and has worked predominantly with adults with a learning disability. Over this time she has developed educational resources and published books relating to personalisation, choice and control. Ali has been a Director of an Advocacy Project working with children and adults for over 10 years. Ali first became interested in Social Pedagogy when she joined UCLan in 2014 seeing many of concepts applicable within her own work and value base. Ali is currently working closely with a number of local authorities and adult social care providers to develop the understanding and application of Social Pedagogy in working alongside adults.
Elizabeth is the Professional Lead for Social Work at the University of West London, where she established the current Social Work degree. She has over 30 years as a qualified practitioner. Prior to moving to an academic post, she has worked in a wide variety of social work roles. Her career commenced as a Probation Officer in London, and subsequently, she has worked in adult services, with older people, drugs and alcohol services, learning disabilities and also managing a children with disability service in a local authority. Elizabeth has also held equality posts within local authorities, as a Women’s Officer and Equal Opportunities Officer.
Nicole has recently completed a PhD in social pedagogy at the University of Derby, which explored the influence of social pedagogy on the practice and values of the children’s services workforce in a local authority. She has been published in the International Journal of Social Pedagogy and wrote a chapter titled ‘Where Care and Education Meet?’ which explored social pedagogy of the Children Act (2004) in a postgraduate education text.
Nicole has almost 20 years’ experience working across NHS and local government, including as a service director in children’s services. She was instrumental in developing social pedagogy across a children’s services department and developing a university module on social pedagogy for local authority workers including foster carers, youth workers and residential staff. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys learning how to draw and paint, watching cricket and playing badminton.
Faith is a co-founder of Women Stepping Out, which promotes education and self-confidence within the Welsh African Caribbean community and managed it between 1994 -2014. She has worked to help empower children, young people, families and communities in her many roles including community activist, life coach, mentor and community development consultant. She has 27 years’ experience working with communities and is a qualified youth and community practitioner with a BA (Hon) in Community Education and Master’s in Education. She is also a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Wales Committee and the managing director of FW Consultancy. She is a presenter on Radio Cardiff. Faith was appointed by the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales to conduct consultation work on his behalf with the Africa/Caribbean community in South Wales. She is also a member of Friends of Cardiff Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia, which provides support to those affected and their families.
After studying archaeology, Cecile became a residential care worker and teacher for children with special needs in Camphill Schools, Aberdeen. She then moved to Kent, where she set up a small independent special unit, teaching primary aged children who found it difficult to integrate within the mainstream school. Social pedagogy, which she experienced in Camphill, became an essential framework to articulate the pedagogical vision for the school. The project did not attract sufficient funding and one of the reasons she believes this so lies with the differences in values and meanings attached to children within English society and in continental Europe, where social pedagogy originated. She was also intently aware of the lack of theorisation of learning within social pedagogy. This prompted me to start a PhD, where she explores how the ‘image of the child’ influences the work of professionals using social pedagogy.
Thure qualified as a Pedagogue in Denmark specialising in music within social education. He has lived and worked in the UK since 2007 and is particularly keen on promoting the use of creativity and arts in working practices. He is also the founder of a development agency called Treehouse Associates.
Thure has previously practised within foster panels and as a manager in a UK family support charity. After turning independent in 2012, his focus has been systemic social pedagogy initiatives in various organisations and skills development of social pedagogy facilitators, social pedagogue recruitment and professional supervision. Thure plays an active role in promoting SPPA and the social pedagogy qualification framework with colleagues from SPC and UCL.
Rob Hunter is a former local authority Community Education adviser and trainer/consultant who has worked with the concept of social pedagogy in youth work, work with looked after children, and community music settings. Now retired, he is Chair of Leicester Ageing Together, a 16-organisation partnership addressing loneliness and social isolation among the 50+ age group in 5 wards of the city over 4 years funded by the Big Lottery. He has long been interested in the potential contribution of Social Pedagogy principles and practice to work with older people in a variety of settings.
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Register & Book Event
09:00 - 16:30
Friends Meeting House
6 Mount Street
Early Bird SPPA member - £68.50
Standard SPPA member - £78.50
Early Bird non-member - £98.50
Standard non-member - £118.50
Early bird Group booking for 5 people - £314.00
Standard Group booking for 5 people - £434.00
SPPA member - students and concessions - £23.50
Non-member - students and concessions - £48.50
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