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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.

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.

What is meant by social pedagogical research into children?

Foster CareInternationalYoung People

by Klaus Wolf, University of Siegen

The way in which foster children grow up and develop is a subject dealt with by various disciplines with widely varying epistemological positions and research methods. In many countries, there are well-developed, well-established clinical research methods based on medical and psychiatric paradigms. This article on social pedagogical research into foster children will present a different research programme developed over the past ten years by the University of Siegen’s Foster Care Research Group. While this will by no means replace clinical research, it will add another perspective to the interdisciplinary professional discussion.

Essex Report

InternationalResidential Child CareUK

by Gabriel Eichsteller and Sylvia Holthoff

Essex County Council embraced social pedagogy following a 3-year pilot project to develop social pedagogy within its children’s residential services, a National Centre for Excellent in Residential Child Care (NCERCC) and the Social Education Trust (SET) study that concluded that participants welcomed the holistic child centred social pedagogic approach and research by the Thomas Coram Research Unit (TCRU) that care experiences of young people in Denmark and Germany are better than in the UK.

How  this  happened  and  what  this  has  achieved  is  described  in  this report.

Read the Essex Report 2012.