Developing Relationship-Centred Practice – new online course dates for 2022

Join our new course to learn how meaningful relationships can transform practice

‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.’
Maya Angelou

Discovering diamonds

The Diamond Model is one of the most powerful concepts in social pedagogy, a values-led approach to relationship-centred practice that aims to support people to flourish and feel socially included. The metaphor of the diamond visualises its central underpinning principle: As human beings, we are all precious and possess a wealth of skills, abilities, talents, knowledge and other resources that make us rich in very unique ways. There is a diamond within everyone of us. Not all diamonds are polished and sparkly, but all have the potential to be. Similarly, every person has the potential to shine – and relationship-centred is about how we can support people to uncover and recognise their potential, to draw out their inner richness. It’s about how we make them feel: treated with kindness and respect for who they are, connected with their inner resources, and empowered to create meaningful change in their lives.

 

Course Content

Our experiential online course Developing Relationship-Centred Practice explores the ethics of relationships and how social pedagogical concepts can enable you to put meaningful and authentic relationships at the heart of your practice. Over the six course sessions, we will introduce you to the Diamond Model and its focus on enhancing well-being, learning, relationships and empowerment in supporting individuals, teams and the wider community. We’ll explore with you a range of relevant concepts designed to help you develop relational approaches in your practice and to navigate complexity and challenging environments, such as social work and social care settings. The sessions broadly follow the below format:

Session 1 – Introduction to the Diamond Model and Haltung: This session introduces you to the fundamental values of social pedagogy and how we express these in our interactions to build meaningful relationships

Session 2 – Authentic Relationships: This session explores how we can develop authentic relationships that support social inclusion and meaningful belonging

Session 3 – Well-being & Happiness: This session focuses on how we can holistically support people’s well-being and happiness through relationship-centred practice and the shift in mindset this requires.

Session 4 – Holistic Learning: This session explores how we can facilitate holistic learning opportunities through relationships supporting strength- based practice

Session 5 – Empowerment: This session explores how we can create conditions in which people feel a sense of recognition and empowerment

Session 6 – Creating Positive Experiences: This session examines how we can create positive experiences in the everyday, enabling individuals to form and enjoy both independence and inter-dependence in their own lives

We’ve designed this course together with Ali Gardner, co-author of Social Pedagogy and Social Work, to be particularly relevant to professionals working with children, families, vulnerable adults, disadvantaged communities and older persons.

 

Connecting learning with your practice

Over the course of six 3-hr sessions, we will build a peer learning community in which participants increasingly take on greater responsibility for supporting each other in the ongoing process of applying your learning to your respective role as practitioners in your specific practice context. Why is this a powerful way to achieve practice improvement? Because converting learning experiences into meaningful behaviour change relies on three factors:

  • CAPABILITY: Acquiring new skills and insights into relationship-centred practice, connecting theory, values and practical methods
  • MOTIVATION: Being eager and feeling confident to create positive practice change, connecting with your values and relational abilities
  • OPPORTUNITY: Finding ways to apply learning in practice, creating the space for self-reflection within the peer learning community, and identifying further opportunities for developing relationship-centred practice

We expect participants to commit to taking action in between each session, so that you can practice developing more meaningful relationships both in your professional and personal life.

 

Learning aims

By connecting social pedagogical concepts and principles to your practice, you’ll be able to:

  1. Apply relational approaches to support strength-based practice.
  2. Understand the role of learning in facilitating well-being, resilience and empowerment.
  3. Develop relational leadership skills supporting professional practice in complex environments.
  4. Adopt a range of reflective tools to enhance relationship-centred practice.
  5. Look forward to future practice with a renewed focus on the values, key purpose and goals of your work.

Each 3-hr session is designed to connect capability, motivation and opportunity by giving you time to explore an area of your practice that you’re determined to change, plan a micro-intervention – a small thing you’ll do to develop your relationship-centred practice – and commit to your peers that you’ll come back the following session having tried this out.

 

Who we are

The course is facilitated by Alexandra Priver and Gabriel Eichsteller from ThemPra. With our international background in social work and social pedagogy practice, learning facilitation and team development, we are highly experienced in the field. Over the last 15 years we have been supporting practitioners in British social work and social care in developing relationship-centred practice. We enjoy enabling participants to further strengthen their practice through greater theoretical insight and clear commitment to ethical action.

We’re pleased to announce new course dates for our online course on developing relationship-centred practice. This is a facilitated 18-hour online course for practitioners and managers working in the field of social care.

 

Video conferencing platform:

The six 3-hr sessions will be facilitated using Zoom to allow participants from a wide range of organisations to engage. We operate the upgraded Zoom package with end-to-end encryption and the highest security settings available for video conferencing. No confidential information will be shared as part of the course, and both hosts are ICO registered.

 

Costs:

The cost per participant is £295 (ex VAT). We offer a 10% discount per place to organisations purchasing 5+ places and a 15% discount per place for 10+ places. Payment via bank transfer must be received at least 14 days prior to the start date. We’re happy to add any purchase order details to the invoice.

 

Dates:

The 6 sessions will take place on the following dates:

Session 1: 31st January, 2022 – 9.30-12.30

Session 2: 7th February, 2022 – 9.30-12.30

Session 3: 14th February, 2022 – 9.30-12.30

Session 4: 28th February, 2022 – 9.30-12.30

Session 5: 7th March, 2022 – 9.30-12.30

Session 6: 14th March, 2022 – 9.30-12.30

Registration:

To register, please complete our booking form below. Please note that places are limited to 20 participants.

Participants will receive a certificate for the CPD hours completed.

 

Professional standards

Upon completing the learning programme, we will provide you with a certificate over 18 hours of CPD. You can use your applied learning from this course as part of your CPD requirements, including towards the following professional standards:

Post-qualifying standards: Knowledge and Skills Statements:

Child and Family Practitioners: Relationships and effective direct work | Communication | Child and family assessment | Analysis, decision-making, planning and review | The role of supervision | Organisational context

Child and Family Practice Supervisors: Promote and govern excellent practice | Developing excellent practitioners | Shaping and influencing the practice system | Effective use of power and authority | Confident analysis and decision-making | Purposeful and effective social work | Emotionally intelligent practice supervision | Performance management and improvement

Child and Family Practice Leaders: Lead and govern excellent practice | Creating a context for excellent practice | Designing a system to support effective practice | Developing excellent practitioners | Support effective decision-making | Quality assurance and improvement

Social workers in adult services: The role of social workers | Person-centred practice | Direct work with individuals and families | Supervision, critical analysis and reflection | Organisational context | Professional ethics and leadership

Social work practice supervisors in adult social care: Values and ethics | Influencing and governing practice excellence within the organisation and community | Developing confident and capable social workers | Assuring good social work practice and development | Promoting and supporting critical analysis and decision-making | Relationship-based practice supervision | Effective use of power and authority as a practice supervisor | Performance management and improvement

 

Care Quality Commission – Key lines of enquiry:

Safe | Effective | Caring | Responsive | Well-led

 

Professional Capabilities Framework for Social Work in England:

Professionalism | Values and ethics | Diversity and equality | Rights, justice and economic wellbeing | Knowledge | Critical reflection and analysis | Intervention and skills | Context and organisations | Professional leadership

 

Royal College of Occupational Therapists – Professional Standards:

Understanding relationship | Service users | Develop intervention | Evaluate impact | Demonstrate quality | Collaborative | Communication | Support development

 

Further questions:

If you have any further questions please email Gabriel.

Relational Leadership – new online course dates for 2022

How Social Pedagogy and Human Learning Systems can strengthen your ethical purpose

‘Great leaders find ways to connect with their people and help them fulfil their potential.’
Steven J. Stowell

 

Leadership is everybody’s job

Leadership is seen as vital to realising aspirations, achieving high-performing teams and creating positive cultures of care. The challenge, however, lies in how we can practice leadership in ways that are authentic and bring out our own and other people’s potential. Just as with geese flying in V formation, who share the leading position at the front and thus increase their flock’s flight range by over 70%, leadership isn’t just about the people in the top positions. Everyone stands to benefit when we create opportunities for distributed leadership and develop each person’s leadership potential.

There is increasing recognition that successful leaders create organisational cultures that are collaborative, psychologically safe and driven by a shared sense of values and purpose. Harnessing the collective creative powers and intellectual insight of everyone in an organisation therefore requires leaders who possess a wide range of interpersonal and empathic skills, who are consummate relationship-builders and nurture a leadership mindset in everyone within the organisation.

 

Leading from the heart

With its strong emphasis on more equal relationships, learning cultures, well-being and ethical purpose, social pedagogy has important implications for leadership across all levels of an organisation. Its concepts and principles not only apply to the people you support in practice but are equally relevant for how you work within your team and collaborate with other professionals. For the development of a social pedagogical culture within your service, it is vital that you and other leaders (such as senior managers, team leaders and other key people) know how to encourage teams to navigate complexity and make situated judgments that reflect your collective values and purpose.

As a complexity-informed paradigm receiving much attention in public service debates at the moment, Human Learning Systems offers a paradigm shift away from New Public Management with its relentless and dehumanising focus on markets, measures and managers. Instead of NPM’s imaginary world of competition, outsourcing, service fragmentation and micro-management leading to predictable outcomes and better services, HLS shows that public service happens in the real world, responding to the complexities of people’s real lives to help them flourish, learning in dialogue with the people and communities we serve, and working relationally to create healthier collaborative local systems. There are increasingly more examples of this public service revolution unfolding across the UK and beyond, many of which are captured in the free e-book Human Learning Systems: Public Service for the Real World’, in which we have co-authored chapters exploring the links with social pedagogy, the implications for values-based recruitment and shifting the learning and development paradigm in organisations.

 

Connecting learning with your practice

This intensive learning programme provides an excellent opportunity for you as a leader to explore how key principles in Social Pedagogy and Human Learning Systems translate into leadership, what this means for you, your team, the wider organisation and, most importantly, how relational leadership can benefit the individuals, families or groups supported by your organisation.

In facilitating the course, we will draw on a variety of learning methods that make relational leadership come to life – through experiential learning activities, group discussions, theoretical inputs, reflection and action planning on how you can develop your own leadership.

Over the course of 9 3hr sessions, we will build a peer learning community in which participants increasingly take on greater responsibility for supporting each other in the ongoing process of applying your learning to your respective role as a leader in your specific practice context. Why is this a powerful way to achieve practice improvement? Because converting learning experiences into meaningful behaviour change relies on three factors:

  • CAPABILITY: Acquiring new skills and insights into relevant leadership, learning and systems change theory and reflection methods
  • MOTIVATION: Being determined to create positive systemic change, finding your unique leadership potential to build meaningful relationships and develop a purpose-driven organisational culture
  • OPPORTUNITY: Finding ways to apply learning in practice, creating the space for self-reflection within the peer learning community, and identifying opportunities to nurture other people’s leadership mindset

We expect participants to commit to taking action in between each session, so that you can practice being a relational leader both in your professional and personal life.

To ensure that all course participants have a basic understanding of Social Pedagogy prior to this course, we will provide you in advance with reading materials and encourage you to register for our Massive Open Online Course in Social Pedagogy across Europe (available on Coursera). This course is endorsed by the Social Pedagogy Professional Association and forms the introductory module of the MA in Social Pedagogy Leadership at the University of Central Lancashire. Participants therefore have the option to gain accreditation and join the MA programme, delivered fully online.

 

Learning aims

By connecting social pedagogical concepts and principles to your leadership practice, we aim to:

  1. provide you with an enduring understanding of:
    • Social Pedagogy as an ethical orientation based on recognition that human beings are intrinsically rich, have unique value and potential
    • Human Learning Systems as a powerful alternative to New Public Management that can help us create healthier systems
    • How to convey the principles underpinning Social Pedagogy and Human Learning Systems into everyday interactions through your relational leadership
    • How you can create collaborative learning cultures and psychological safety within your team and across systems
  2. ensure you know and are able to apply:
    • Relevant social pedagogical theories and principles for everyday leadership practice
    • How you can initiate and sustain change within a complex practice environment
  3. make you further familiar with:
    • The role of communication and empathic listening in relational leadership
    • Ideas and activities for future team development, supervision and your personal leadership style development

 

Themes

  • Core concepts in Social Pedagogy and their implications for leadership
  • Central tenets of Human Learning Systems and its potential to revolutionise public service
  • Introduction to and perspectives on relational leadership
  • Creating learning environments in organisations
  • Haltung and ethics as foundational for relationship-centred practice
  • The pedagogy of empathic listening, valuing difference and recognition for leaders
  • Nurturing intrinsic motivation and shared purpose
  • Sustaining a social pedagogical culture by nurturing relational leadership mindsets within your team

Each 3-hr session is designed to connect capability, motivation and opportunity by giving you time to explore an area of your practice that you’re determined to change, plan a micro-intervention – a small thing you’ll do to develop your relational leadership – and commit to your peers that you’ll come back the following session having tried this out.

 

Who we are

The course is facilitated by Alexandra Priver and Charlotte Firing from ThemPra. We’re both internationally experienced practitioners in social pedagogical settings and have longstanding facilitation and leadership expertise. We’ve led on a number of ThemPra’s pioneering projects in England and Scotland, including Head, Heart, Hands, Dundee Early Intervention Team, St Christopher’s Fellowship, and our EU Leonardo Mobility funded projects exploring social pedagogy in Danish care settings. We’re also co-delivering the MA in Social Pedagogy Leadership in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire. This learning programme builds on this and our involvement with the Human Learning Systems Collaborative to help you transfer these insights into your practice.

 

Course dates

The nine sessions are scheduled in the following intervals to allow sufficient time for learning application:

Session 1: 15 February, 2022 – 9.30-12.30

Session 2: 16 February, 2022 – 9.30-12.30

Session 3: 17 February, 2022 – 9.30-12.30

Session 4: 15 March, 2022 – 9.30-12.30

Session 5: 16 March, 2022 – 9.30-12.30

Session 6: 19 April, 2022 – 9.30-12.30

Session 7: 20 April, 2022 – 9.30-12.30

Session 8: 25 May, 2022 – 9.30-12.30

Session 9: 29 June, 2022 – 9.30-12.30

Please note that we expect all participants to take part in every session and to commit to taking action in between each session.

 

Costs

The cost per participant is £445 (ex VAT). We offer a 10% discount per place to organisations purchasing 5+ places and a 15% discount per place for 10+ places. Payment can be made by bank transfer either in full or two instalments split across the 2 financial years and must be received at least 14 days prior to the start date. We’re happy to add any purchase order details to the invoice.

 

Register your place

To book your place on this course, please complete the below details:

 

Professional standards

Upon completing the learning programme, we will provide you with a certificate over 36 hours of CPD. You can use your applied learning from this course as part of your CPD requirements, including towards the following professional standards:

Post-qualifying standards: Knowledge and Skills Statements:

Child and Family Practitioners: Relationships and effective direct work | Communication | Analysis, decision-making, planning and review | The role of supervision | Organisational context

Child and Family Practice Supervisors: Promote and govern excellent practice | Developing excellent practitioners | Shaping and influencing the practice system | Effective use of power and authority | Confident analysis and decision-making | Purposeful and effective social work | Emotionally intelligent practice supervision | Performance management and improvement

Child and Family Practice Leaders: Lead and govern excellent practice | Creating a context for excellent practice | Designing a system to support effective practice | Developing excellent practitioners | Support effective decision-making | Quality assurance and improvement

Social workers in adult services: Person-centred practice | Supervision, critical analysis and reflection | Organisational context | Professional ethics and leadership

Social work practice supervisors in adult social care: Values and ethics | Influencing and governing practice excellence within the organisation and community | Developing confident and capable social workers | Assuring good social work practice and development | Promoting and supporting critical analysis and decision-making | Relationship-based practice supervision | Effective use of power and authority as a practice supervisor | Performance management and improvement

 

Care Quality Commission – Key lines of enquiry:

Effective | Caring | Responsive | Well-led

 

Professional Capabilities Framework for Social Work in England:

Professionalism | Values and ethics | Diversity and equality | Rights, justice and economic wellbeing | Knowledge | Critical reflection and analysis | Intervention and skills | Context and organisations | Professional leadership

 

Royal College of Occupational Therapists – Professional Standards:

Understanding relationship | Service users | Develop intervention | Evaluate impact | Demonstrate quality | Collaborative | Communication | Support development

 

Further questions?

Please get in touch with us via email if you would like to know more about this course or any of our other learning activities.

Courageous Conversations – new online course dates for 2022

Join our new course to improve constructive communication that leads to greater connection

 

The Elephant in the Room

We’ve all been there. Yet another elephant is on the loose and has taken centre stage in the room. Yet again, everybody is trying hard to pretend that it isn’t there. After all, elephants are big and heavy, so pushing it back out of the room isn’t really an option. But what if we could find the courage to address the elephant in the room constructively? Better yet, what if we could have meaningful conversations about difficult issues in ways that improve the relationships between us?

These are the questions at the heart of our new experiential online learning programme, tailored to the particular professional context of social care. We know how challenging it can be to have to deliver difficult messages to the people you support. We also know how beneficial it can be to create the conditions for meaningful dialogue with the people you support, so that you can have a courageous conversation.

Social work requires practitioners to work in challenging situations and sometimes hostile environments. Lord Laming (2003) called for ‘respectful uncertainty’ whereby social workers are able to capture the delicate balance of trust and doubt. Likewise, Cooper (2018) suggests these are often the instances where professionals can lose their heads with anxiety and become very reactive. Being self-reflective in how they communicate within these tension fields is therefore a critical skill. Through this learning programme we want to enable you to develop your skillset and experience the benefits of having courageous conversations within your organisation and with the people you support.

 

Learning Takes Courage

Learning requires a leap of faith into the unknown, the courage to try things out, and the support of people who share the learning journey. We have therefore designed this learning programme to draw on the power of peer learning, combined with insights from communication theory, conflict resolution methods, space for self-reflection and action planning.

Over the course of 6 3hr sessions, we will build a peer learning community in which participants increasingly take on greater responsibility for supporting each other in the ongoing process of applying your learning to your respective practice context. Why is this a powerful way to achieve practice improvement? Because converting learning experiences into meaningful behaviour change relies on three factors:

  • CAPABILITY: Acquiring new skills and insights into relevant communication theory and conflict resolution methods
  • MOTIVATION: Being eager and feeling confident to create positive change, finding your inner courage to address conflicts pro-actively and constructively
  • OPPORTUNITY: Finding ways to apply learning in practice, creating the space for self-reflection within the peer learning community, and identifying further opportunities for leading courageous conversations

We expect participants to commit to taking action in between each session, so that you can practice having more courageous conversations both in your professional and personal life.

 

Session Content

We explore courageous conversations as the interplay between you and another person, framed by the environment in which this interplay takes place. Importantly, we believe that courageous conversations should be an empowering encounter for everyone involved.

Sessions 1 & 2: Find your courage, face your fears

In the first two sessions, we start off your learning journey with you. By introducing you to a range of communication theories, including non-violent communication, we help you better understand the dynamics at play in communication, how you usually communicate and the implications this might have for leading courageous conversations.

Sessions 3 & 4: Connect with empathy

In the third and fourth session, we shift the focus towards better understanding the other person’s role and how you can help someone else be open to what you wish to convey, provide relational certainty, and empathically listen to truly understand their point of view.

Sessions 5 & 6: Create the conditions for learning together

In the last two sessions, we explore how you can create an environment that enables people to have courageous conversations, for instance through imaginative ways to provide feedback, by framing courageous conversations as learning together and integrating critical reflection processes into existing structures such as supervision, team meetings, review meetings, and appraisals.

 

Each 3-hr session is designed to connect capability, motivation and opportunity by giving you time to explore an area of your practice that you’re determined to change, plan a micro-intervention – a small thing you’ll do to communicate more constructively – and commit to your peers that you’ll come back the following session having tried this out.

 

Who We Are

The course is designed and delivered by Ali Gardner, a registered social worker and director of Head, Hearts, Hands in Practice, and Gabriel Eichsteller, a social pedagogue and co-director with ThemPra Social Pedagogy CIC. Our backgrounds are in social work practice, policy, education, training, publishing and international projects in the field of social pedagogy, so we’ve worked with a broad range of people in environments where authentic dialogue and trusting relationships are critical. Ali has harnessed these experiences to create the new Research in Practice for Adults briefing paper on Courageous Conversations. This learning programme builds on this and our other work around relationship-centred practice to help you transfer these insights into your practice.

 

Course Dates

The six sessions are scheduled in the following intervals to allow sufficient time for learning application:

Session 1: 19th January, 2022 – 1.30pm – 4.30pm

Session 2: 21st January, 2022 – 9.30am – 12.30pm

Session 3: 11th February, 2022 – 9.30am – 12.30pm

Session 4: 4th March, 2022 – 9.30am – 12.30pm

Session 5: 25th March, 2022 – 9.30am – 12.30pm

Session 6: 21st April, 2022 – 9.30am – 12.30pm

Please note that we expect all participants to take part in every session and to commit to taking action in between each session.

 

Costs

The cost per participant is £295 (ex VAT). We offer a 10% discount per place to organisations purchasing 5+ places and a 15% discount per place for 10+ places. Payment can be made either by bank transfer or invoice and must be received at least 14 days prior to the start date.

 

Register Your Place

To book your place on this course, please register below:

Professional Standards

Upon completing the learning programme, we will provide you with a certificate over 21 hours of CPD. You can use your applied learning from this course as part of your CPD requirements, including towards the following professional standards:

Post-qualifying standards: Knowledge and Skills Statements:

Person-centred practice | Effective assessment and outcome based support planning | Direct work with individuals and families | Supervision, critical analysis and reflection | Professional ethics and leadership | Values and ethics | Influencing and governing practice excellence within the organisation and community | Developing confident and capable social workers | Assuring good social work practice and development | Relationship-based practice supervision | Effective use of power and authority as a practice supervisor

Care Quality Commission – Key lines of enquiry:

Effective | Caring | Responsive | Well-led

Professional Capabilities Framework for Social Work in England:

Professionalism | Values and ethics | Diversity and equality | Rights, justice and economic well-being | Critical reflection and analysis | Intervention and skills | Professional leadership

Royal College of Occupational Therapists – Professional Standards:

Understanding relationship | Service users | Screen needs | Develop intervention | Evaluate impact | Collaborative | Communication | Support development

 

Further Questions?

Please get in touch with us via email if you would like to know more about this course or any of our other learning activities.

Webinar series exploring social pedagogy concepts at turbulent times

When the COVID-19 pandemic first started to cause huge upheavals in social care practice, we felt it was time to learn more about how a social pedagogical perspective could help practitioners navigate the uncharted territory they found themselves in. We wanted to offer a forum for dialogue and ideas about how to make sense of the uncertainties and unpredictabilities at these unprecedented times and how to keep connected to a deeper sense of moral purpose. Our webinar series ‘Exploring Social Pedagogy Concepts at Turbulent Times’ is the result of this ambition. Register now for free to join future sessions!

The series exploring social pedagogy concepts during turbulent times launched on 17th June as part of the International Online Conference with a webinar on the Common Third. Run by ThemPra in partnership with both the Social Pedagogy Association (US) and the Social Pedagogy Professional Association (UK), each webinar is free to attend and we’re keen for you to share any reflections, ideas and examples you have to offer. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to actively contribute to any of the upcoming webinars.

Below is the scheduled programme for 2021:

  • 14/12/21 – 10-11am: The 4 Aspects of a Message
    This communication model shows just why there is so much that can be misinterpreted or go wrong when we communicate with each other. Find out how we can become clearer and more effective both in talking with and listening to others. Click here to register.

And here is an overview of previous webinars in the series, together with links to the video recordings (where available):

The Common Third

Our first session on 17/06/20 focussed on the Common Third and how we can develop relationships through purposeful shared activities at a time when lockdown restrictions on meeting face-to-face create huge challenges. We had a brilliant discussion with Jameel Hadi (Salford University), Danny Henderson (Common View) and Vasileios Tiliakos (Athirma) sharing their experiences and ideas.

 

Diamond Model

This session from 27/08/20 explored the Diamond Model, a reminder that every person is inherently rich and that we all benefit when we look for the best in people. We were delighted to be joined by Lowis Charfe (UCLan), Kara O’Neil (Social Pedagogy Association), and Robyn Kemp (Social Pedagogy Professional Association) as well as an inspiring group of participants who joined the conversation.

 

The 3 Ps

In this session from 28/09/20 we examined how we can be professional AND personal whilst leaving the private self out of practice. We also focussed on how lockdown has changed this balance. Thanks to everyone who contributed with their thoughts and reflections, particularly Alicja Kabat-Pastwa (Coventry Council), Cath Barton (Community Circles), Cecile Remy (St Christopher’s Fellowship), and Ali Gardner (Head, Heart, Hands in Practice).

 

Relational Universe

Our session from 26/10/20 focused on the Relational Universe, given that the pandemic has higlighted how crucial it is to feel connected. As human beings we are all interdependent, and the Relational Universe expands our professional understanding of what relationship-centred practice is all about. We were delighted that Nicola Boyce (Lighthouse Children’s Home) and Krysta Parsons (Lincolnshire County Council) shared examples from their practice, which stimulated participants to bring in their thoughts and insights.

 

Learning Zone Model

Uncertainty and upheaval make it challenging to be in the learning zone when the panic zone feels just around the corner and the comfort zone feels like the only safe place. So how can the Learning Zone Model help us? Watch the recording from the session on 23/11/20 with Elaine Hamilton (Nether Johnston House) and Krysta Parsons (Lincolnshire County Council) joining the fishbowl conversation.

 

Critical Reflection

In the session on 14/12/20, our focus was on critical reflection, which is never more needed than when things are turbulent, chaotic and messy. By using a structured process to examine more deeply what’s happening, how this is affecting us and others, what influences there are, how we can critically analyse the situation to learn and act, we’re ensuring that we feel better equipped to deal with uncertainty and complexity. We discussed the FEIALA model for critical reflection, which we developed together with Robyn Kemp, and heard how this can be used in practice, with contributions from Robyn herself, Chardelle Margerison (St Christopher’s Fellowship), Simon Johr (Coventry Council) and Diana Schmidt (Brent Council).

 

Nonviolent Communication

The new year started off with our webinar on 18/01/21 focussing on Nonviolent Communication and how we can connect to what’s alive in people. Marshall Rosenberg’s concept helps nurture kindness and compassion at a time when the challenges of the pandemic tear at the fabric of societies, and it was exciting to explore these tensions with Kara O’Neil (Social Pedagogy Association), Simon Taylor (Derbyshire County Council), and Maggie Bagley (MA Social Pedagogy Leadership graduate).

 

Multiple Intelligences

In this session from 26/02/21, we discussed Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory and how we can create learning situations that bring out the best in people and recognise their potential. Thanks to Martin Schwarz (Camphill Community Glencraig), Nicola Boyce (Lighthouse Children’s Home), Lowis Charfe (University of Central Lancashire), and Dan Nester (Barnardo’s) for sharing their experiences and examining links with creativity.

 

Recognition

Axel Honneth’s theory of recognition provides a valuable framework for how we can create the conditions in which people feel validated as human beings. A focus on recognition offers a rich understanding of how we can build meaningful relationships with the people we support, strengthen the structural aspects that ensure they feel heard, and cultivate social inclusion. We had a fascinating discussion on 23/03/21 about why recognition is such a crucial concept, with contributions by Adam Pagett (Bradford Council), Lotte Harbo (VIA University College), and Daniela Reimer (Zurich University of Applied Science).

 

Haltung

Often translated as ethos or stance, the German term Haltung refers to the way in which we bring our values and beliefs to life in the interactions with others. In this webinar on 27/04/21, we enjoyed an insightful discussion about how we can be authentic at a time when our Haltung is challenged. Ian Jones (Nottingham University), Cath Barton (Community Circles) and Mike Crowther (Empowerment) shared their practice experiences and why it’s important for us to be mindful and constantly reflective of our Haltung.

 

Lifespace

The concept of lifespace highlights that much of the support we offer in social pedagogical practice happens in the space that people inhabit, in their homes, their community, their lives. Lifespace also emphasises the importance of everyday activities to develop meaningful relationships. On 26/05/21 we were joined by Alex Priver (ThemPra), Matthew McFadzean (Pebbles Care) and George Evans (Camphill Community Beannachar) to reflect on how conceptualisations of lifespace have evolved during the pandemic.

 

Empowerment

In our session on empowerment on 28/09/21, we explored how we can flip the narrative about power and create the conditions in which the people we support feel a sense of ownership, control and empowerment. Re-watch the conversation with June McDonald & Joe Gibb (Renfrewshire Council), Georgina Evans (Empowerment) and Cecile Remy (UCL Institute of Education) here.

 

Human Learning Systems

A radical alternative to New Public Management is beginning to rehumanise public service. To celebrate the launch of the free e-book ‘Human Learning Systems: Public Service for the Real World’, our webinar on 27/10/21 explored how HLS can strengthen social pedagogical practice in organisations. Watch this recorded conversation with contributions by Dawn Plimmer (Collaborate CIC), David Barr (Aberlour Child Care Trust) and Lowis Charfe (UCLan).

Human Learning Systems – e-book launch and webinar

Human Learning Systems: Public Service for the Real World

In association with Dr Toby Lowe and the wider Human Learning Systems Collaborative, we have come together to write and launch a new e-book Human Learning Systems: Public Service for the Real World, a resource and guide for organisations or teams working in public service who feel they want to change the current way they’re working. Human Learning Systems offers an alternative approach to funding, leading and managing all forms of social intervention and public service and features nearly 50 case studies from across the world.

If you design, deliver or work with people and are dissatisfied with the current processes and ways of working, HLS offers an alternative approach to public management based on being human, continuously learning and nurturing healthy systems. It fits really well with social pedagogy and, as the case studies by Empowerment and Lighthouse show, HLS can create the organisational conditions for social pedagogical practice to thrive.

Ahead of the e-book launch, you can sign up to join us for an exclusive webinar on the 17th June. At the webinar, you will hear from practitioners on how they have been using the Human Learning Systems approach to transform the way in which they work. Click here to register.