ThemPra – TheorymeetsPractice
ThemPra is a social (pedagogical) enterprise supporting the sustainable development of social pedagogy through a range of short courses, organisational capacity building and whole-systems strategies. At ThemPra we have set out to actively promote social pedagogy, because we know that its focus on well-being, learning and relationships can make a substantial difference to the lives of disadvantaged children, young people and adults. We have also seen evidence of the positive impact it can have on practitioners and entire teams who have embraced social pedagogical principles not just as a way of working with children, young people and adults but as highly relevant and applicable to team work, leadership and multi-agency working.
Having been at the forefront of social pedagogy developments in the UK since 2007, we are passionate about and highly experienced in supporting organisations working with children, young people, families and disadvantaged groups, enabling them to understand social pedagogy in theory and practice. We recognise that every organisation’s practice is different (and when working with human beings no two days are alike), so if social pedagogy is meant to be relevant to practitioners they must become the experts for social pedagogy in their context. For us this means engaging in dialogue, which is always exploratory and implies that both parties are equally valued. We believe this is fundamental for three reasons: first, because it creates a social pedagogical change process; second, because it genuinely values professionals as experts for their practice and its context; and third, because by building on their experience they feel empowered and are keen to take ownership for social pedagogy. This makes meaningful dialogue fundamental to developing social pedagogy sustainably and creating capacity within organisations.
Our philosophy of practising social pedagogy and its principles in what we do underpins all our activities. We have divided our offer into 3 areas:
- strategic social pedagogical consultancy aimed at supporting leaders in embedding social pedagogy,
- social pedagogy courses that allow participants to explore and make sense of social pedagogy in theory and practice,
- strategic change projects in social pedagogy offering a whole-systems approach to developing social pedagogy within every level of an organisation to ensure a sustainable process of developing a social pedagogic culture.
As a social enterprise, we are also promoting social pedagogy in other ways that benefit children, disadvantaged adults and those working with them. These include running introductory sessions, speaking at conferences, co-ordinating the Social Pedagogy Development Network (together with colleagues at Jacaranda Development and the Centre for Understanding Social Pedagogy at UCL Institute of Education), managing EU-funded projects, co-editing and co-publishing the International Journal of Social Pedagogy as well as writing articles at both academic and practice levels.
We are always open to getting involved with new partner organisations, so if you have any innovative ideas we look forward to hearing from you!