Social pedagogy and its relevance for Scottish social welfare
– By Mark Smith and Sebastian Monteux
June is here and so is the article of the month! Thanks, Elaine Hamilton for choosing this curious read that provokes and invigorates!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS ARTICLE ELAINE?
This article brings a Scottish perspective and narrative to the use and benefit of social pedagogical thinking. Recognising how this approach links with our culture, heritage and the social context is imperative as we as a nation strive to bring about sustainable change for all. Linking care to education and understanding the journey of growth as a person helps us to begin building the foundations of a culture of growth, wellbeing and connections which facilitate the development of participation, collaboration & community.
This article is part of the edited book: Supporting Difficult Transitions: Children, Young People and their Carers by Mariane Hedegaard & Anne Edwards
– Use the code SPPA22UK to get 20%off off the paperback and eBook versions of the whole book! Limited time offer for SPPA members.
Why did you choose this article Cecile?
The article shows how the thinking behind simple activities such as baking or going running can help to build bridges with people whose intentions can be hard to understand. The author focuses on people’s motivation and clarifies the work needed to share this common goal with a wider network. It’s about connecting in a meaningful way beyond labels and institutions.
Moreover, this article does something I’m always trying to do much better than I can ever hope for: it links theory and practice without jargon.
Sofie Pedersen thinks about her professional activities from a cultural-historical point of view. This way of thinking, which can be traced back to Vygotsky, changes and transforms her awareness of her work and the people she works with.
Cecile Remy, SPPA trustee
Members only - Social Pedagogical Reflection – the FEIALA model
Reflection plays a critical role within social pedagogical and social work practice. It forms an essential part of the learning process, an opportunity to make greater sense of the world around us and our place in it. Reflective processes seek greater insight through questioning our initial assessments of situations and checking on everything that may be ‘in play’…
There is renewed interest in the relationships between individuals and communities. But what do we mean by the term relationship?
Does this refer to therapeutic casework, is it person- centred or does it involve building an individual’s social capital? How do these relationships relate to building strengths, rather than self-responsibility or protective factors?
An activities focused form of relationship-based social work from Denmark has vital lessons for practitioners in the UK.
At St Christopher’s, social pedagogy is a core philosophy of care, drawing together theories and concepts from related disciplines such as sociology, psychology, education, philosophy, medical sciences and social work. Their use of social pedagogy centres on attachment theory and building positive relationships with young people to bring out their full potential and find their inner “diamond”.
This report outlines the impact their work has had over the last year, with a focus on the tools gained in ‘Head, Heart and Hands’.
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.
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.
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.
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.