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:

  • 28/09/21 – 10-11am: Empowerment
    How do we create the conditions in which the people we support feel a sense of ownership, control and empowerment? Join us for this webinar to discuss how we can share the power we hold as professionals in ways that are meaningful. Register here.
  • 27/10/21 – 10-11am: 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, we’re exploring how HLS can strengthen social pedagogical practice in organisations. Register here to join us for an exciting conversation!
  • 23/11/21 – 10-11am: Human Rights
    Social pedagogy is often described as a human rights profession, and in this webinar we want to explore how we can champion a human rights focus in everyday practice. Join the conversation by registering here.
  • 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.