The Social Pedagogue pt 2: potential, power and practice
Social pedagogy is both a science and an art form. It is dynamic, creative, and all about the process. For more info on the origins of this see part 1 of this blog. Social pedagogy is not something we do or don’t do – the question to ask ourselves is to what degree we are working in a social pedagogical way.
1. Do we recognise the potential of human beings to bring about change?
2. Do we have a practice with curiosity and empathy at the core?
The word curiosity is all over twitter mostly being tweeted about by professionals who seek to make lasting impact on families and professionals about how they understand children's behaviour and human connection.
Last week I went on safeguarding training led by Voluntary Action Leicestershire The trainer talked about the importance of curiosity and how the lack of curiosity about behaviour and circumstances of a child can have devastating consequences for the most vulnerable in our country.
In Belgium, the term "Social Pedagogy" is roughly translated as “walking in the shoes of” which reflects the close and empathetic nature of the work social pedagogues do.
Human relationships, in all their complexity,
are intrinsically valuable
How this translates to practice has been shown in a CREC research project in 2016 looking at what it was about high achieving white working class boys than enabled them to succeed when all the indicators (poverty, parent unemployment, lack of social support, inconsistent parenting practices, family conficts, caregiver illness) showed that these boys should be struggling.
The findings showed that the presence of a 'significant other' who was ready to share activities, explore with affectionate attention was crucial. Being ‘tuned' into by this significant adult deeply impacted the boys self esteem and well being. What sticks me about this type of relationship is the shift of POWER that's needed.
"Young boys need at least one person in their lives who would go to unreasonable lengths for them."
High Achieving White Working Class boys. Research study by CREC
Let's be the adults who follow our children's lead, support their self-directed passions and interests, providing lots of support, encouragement...
and a playmate.