Join the Social Pedagogy Reading Club with Janet Grauberg

The wonderful Janet Grauberg has recently launched the Social Pedagogy Reading Club, the latest amazing learning opportunity in the social pedagogy world.

Journal clubs are a regular cycle of meetings. In each session, the participants summarise the findings of an article, critically discuss them, work in pairs to plan how they will incorporate them into their practice, and choose the next article. The Social Pedagogy Reading Club meets virtually at 7pm on the first Monday of every month (unless that’s a UK bank holiday), and you’re invited to join us for as many sessions as you’d like. Register here to become part of the Reading Club!

So far we’ve read the following articles:

  • October 2020: Charfe, L., & Gardner, A. (2020). ‘Does My Haltung Look Big In This?”: The Use of Social Pedagogical Theory for the Development of Ethical and Value Led Practice. International Journal of Social Pedagogy.
  • November 2020: Harbo, L. J., & Kemp, R. (2020). Social pedagogical perspectives on fidelity to a manual: Professional principles and dilemmas in everyday expertise. International Journal of Social Pedagogy.
  • December 2020: Winman, T. (2020). The Role of Social Pedagogy in a Digitalized Society. The Educational Review, USA, 4(3), 81-92.
  • January 2021: Andrews, N., Gabbay, J., Le-May, A., Miller, E., Petch, A., & O’Neill, M. (2020). Story, dialogue and caring about what matters to people: progress towards evidence-enriched policy and practice. Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice.
  • February 2021: Smith, M. (2020). It really does depend: Towards an epistemology (and ontology) for everyday social pedagogical practice. International Journal of Social Pedagogy, 9(1), 1-18.
  • March 2021: Leadbeater, C. (2020). Love Meets Power. The Australian Centre for Social Innovation.

Our next session will discuss the following article:

  • April 2021: Brighton & Hove City Council (2017). ‘Empathy, tenacity and compassion’: An evaluation of relationship-based practice in Brighton & Hove.


New degree programme: BA (Hons) Early Childhood in Society (Graduate Practitioner)

It’s great to see a new degree programme launch with a strong social pedagogical foundation, as the School of Education at the University of Worcester is starting its new, innovative BA (Hons) Early Childhood in Society (Graduate Practitioner) in September 2020. 

For many young children life is magical; their early years are carefree and full of wonder. For a significant minority of children, however, life is not so great. These children and their families need professionals who use their personal warmth to help children develop self-efficacy skills; the ability to make positive changes within their own lives. This may be an informed teacher, an understanding practitioner, a committed family support worker, a visionary charity worker, a skilled play worker/therapist, an effective welfare officer, a reflective SEND teacher, an ethical business owner or a courageous NGO/aid worker.


About the course

The course is structured to enable students to follow their own pathway. Mandatory modules focus on key skills and knowledge, enhancing understanding of how children learn, develop and think and the range of factors that can influence these. The choice of optional modules provides opportunity for further specialisation.

Students will spend 210 hours per year in practice to help prepare them for graduate employment. The Graduate Practitioner pathway of the degree is recognised by the Department for Education as being “Full and Relevant” which means students can be counted in ratios in early years settings (provided they have passed GCSE maths and English (or equivalent) and the practice modules). Practice is assessed through the meeting of Graduate Level Competencies underpinned by the Early Years Educator and QAA benchmarks; or if students choose to select the Early Childhood in Society pathway practice is assessed against the requirements of the Social Pedagogy Standards.


Where is the course taught?

The BA (Hons) Early Childhood in Society is taught face to face and is delivered over three years, full-time study.  

You will also have the opportunity to undertake a placement abroad.


What award will the course lead to?

The BA (Hons) Early Childhood in Society (ECIS) degree will lead to one of the following awards:

  • ECIS (Graduate Practitioner) (assessed practice in an Ofsted registered in years one and two leading to “full and relevant” status. Practice in any regulated setting in year three)
  • ECIS (assessed practice in an Ofsted registered setting in year one, then in any regulated setting in years two and three)


For further information please visit the university’s website. Alternatively, contact Nicola Stobbs at: or Sue Baylis at:

New Social Peda-Blogs

For anyone interested in learning more about social pedagogy in practice, check out the following blogs that have been published over the last few weeks:


Spatial social work, social pedagogy and the arrival of COVID-19 in practice: Prospects for new ways of working in uncertain times

By Bianka Lang

Bianka Lang’s practice paper, published in the International Journal of Social Pedagogy, discusses how working with young people in creative ways, can support social workers in understanding how they view and give meaning to the social spaces around them. Further opening up a conversation on how social pedagogical practitioners might practice post Covid-19.

Young people in care: how lockdown provides a haven of security and belonging

By Claire Cameron

In her latest IOE Blog, Prof. Claire Cameron shares examples of how social pedagogical practice is benefitting young people in care amidst the Covid-19 crisis. A reduction of external stressors, a simpler life and closer relationships with carers during lockdown are proving more than just a silver lining.


The art of diamond polishing

By Ed Greenhalgh

In this SPPA blog, Ed Greenhalgh shares his social pedagogy journey, which has taken him to Denmark as part of our EU Leonardo Mobility projects and further to undertaking the BA in Social Pedagogy, Advocacy and Participation and the MA in Social Pedagogy Leadership at UCLan. He outlines how social pedagogy provides a framework for discovering the diamond in every person and helping to make it shine.


The Haltung Hulk

By Dan Arrowsmith

This SPPA blog by Dan Arrowsmith reflects on the deeper meaning of why social workers should be treasured and the core beliefs of why they choose the career in the first place. He poses the key question of how we can create an environment where social workers can harvest their haltung, nourish it, and avoid the outbursts of hulk frustrations.


If you’re interested in writing a blog or a practice paper, please get in touch with SPPA and the International Journal of Social Pedagogy.

Social Pedagogical Leadership – join our next courses

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 draw out our own and others’ potential. Just as with geese flying in V formation, leadership isn’t just about the people in the top positions – it’s essential to develop each person’s leadership potential.

With its strong emphasis on more equal relationships, learning processes, a shared life-space and ethics as first practice, social pedagogy has important implications for leadership at every level of an organisation. 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 are able to make situated judgments.

This three-day course provides an excellent opportunity for you as a leader to explore how key principles in social pedagogy translate into leadership, what this means for you, your team, the wider organisation and, most importantly, how social pedagogical 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 social pedagogical leadership come to life – through experiential learning activities, group discussions, theoretical inputs, reflection and action planning on how you can develop your own leadership.

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. You therefore have the option to gain accreditation and join the MA programme, delivered as a combination of block modules and distance learning modules either full- or part-time.


Learning Aims

By connecting social pedagogical concepts and principles to 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
    • How to convey this belief in everyday interactions and relationships through your social pedagogical leadership
    • How you can create and develop social pedagogical teams and organisations within a positive culture of care


  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 social pedagogical leadership
    • Ideas and activities for future team development, supervision and your personal leadership style development



  • Core concepts in social pedagogy and their implications for leadership
  • Introduction to and perspectives on social pedagogical leadership
  • Leadership as pedagogy
  • The notion of Haltung and ethics as foundational for social pedagogical practice
  • The pedagogy of listening and recognition for leaders
  • Nurturing motivation
  • Creating, developing and sustaining a social pedagogical culture of care
  • Myths and mechanisms of scaling and diffusion



1 person (self-funded): £300
1 person (employer-funded): £360



Edinburgh, 4-6 May, 2020

Chelmsford, 8-10 July, 2020


Course Facilitators

Both courses will be facilitated by Alexandra Priver and Charlotte Firing. 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.

Register now to join us at the International Social Pedagogy Conference in Preston

We are delighted to invite you to the forthcoming international conference Social Education and Social Pedagogy: Here and Now. The 3-day conference is jointly hosted by the University of Central Lancashire, the Social Pedagogy Association, ThemPra Social Pedagogy, and Arizona State University at UCLan’s campus in Preston from 16 to 18 June. We hope to see many of you there.

With this conference we hope to create a uniquely interactive experience for all delegates, with a wide range of speakers, interactive workshops, Open Space forum, and a more general poster presentation area for those not wanting to give a full presentation. This conference is part of an international initiative supported by a wide range of national associations to bring together scholars and practitioners of social pedagogy, social education and related professions from around the world. It builds on many previous efforts, most recently the Puebla 2018 conference Social Education and Social Pedagogy: Bridging Traditions and Innovations, which represented a wide variety of topics reflecting many of the diverse areas encompassed by social pedagogical research and practice.

In Preston, we will focus on similar connections between social education and social pedagogy and how we can form alliances to take forward our collective aspirations for a better world. The conference provides an opportunity to reflect on some of the most pressing social issues, allowing us to address these concerns meaningfully and proactively lead social change. By connecting with delegates from across the globe, we will be able to explore solutions for challenges in sustainability, inequality, global violence, participatory democracy and more.

As part of this, the programme will include:

  • Keynote presentation by Arto Salonen (University of Eastern Finland) on planetary social pedagogy and an eco-social approach to education;
  • Keynote presentation by Lotte Harbo (VIA University College Aarhus) on social pedagogy, evidence-based manuals and gut feeling – responding meaningfully to complex practice situations;
  • Plenary discussion forum on the relationship between social pedagogy and social work from a global perspective, with Xavier Úcar (Autonomous University of Barcelona), Karla Villaseñor Palma (Autonomous University of Puebla), Daniel Schugurensky (Arizona State University), Onno Husen (Leuphana University Lüneburg), and Gabriel Eichsteller (ThemPra Social Pedagogy);
  • Open Space Forum to explore the themes that matter to you, learning from delegates around the world;
  • Interactive workshops, formal presentations and roundtable discussions on a variety of social pedagogical and social educational themes;
  • Marketplace with poster presentations and networking opportunities;
  • And a few engaging group learning activities to help you make new connections.


Proposal Submissions

There is still time to contribute to the programme. Submissions may include paper presentations, roundtable conversations, poster presentations or workshop proposals. Workshops must offer attendees active participation through acquisition of a new skill or through responsible engagement of participants in discussion and problem- solving.

All proposals should be submitted via this Google form by the 14th of February, 2020. We will notify you of acceptance before the end of March.

In addition to being considered for inclusion in the conference, papers on issues around migration will have the opportunity to submit to the forthcoming special issue of the International Journal of Social Pedagogy (see here).


Registration and costs

Registration is now open, and you can book your place online at

Conference fee:         £125 (early bird rate until 31 March, 2020)
£150 (full rate from 1 April, 2020)


Further information

For further details about the conference please visit or contact us directly at with the subject heading: Preston 2020/Inquiry. We will provide you with details around travel to Preston, accommodation, and everything else you need to know once you’ve secured your place.