ThemPra Social Pedagogy

ThemPra – TheorymeetsPractice

We are a pioneering social enterprise supporting the sustainable development of Social Pedagogy through a range of short courses, organisational capacity building and whole-systems strategies. As a learning partner, we enable teams to gain deeper insights into social pedagogical aspects that can help improve their practice. We do this by providing immersive learning experiences on specific aspects of Social Pedagogy, such as its core values, understanding the impact of trauma, leadership, reflection, change agency and learning facilitation.

We started off in 2007, when we designed and facilitated the first Social Pedagogy course in the UK as part of a pilot project run by the National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care. Since then, we have worked with The Fostering Network on Head, Heart, Hands, an exciting demonstration programme introducing Social Pedagogy to foster care, and were involved in innovative, systemic strategies to implement Social Pedagogy across a wide range of services across the UK (see image below). We have also been collaborating with the University of Central Lancashire on co-delivering the MA Social Pedagogy Leadership.

As a social enterprise, we have been dedicated to growing the wider discourse on Social Pedagogy across the UK and beyond by collaborating on initiatives designed to deepen understandings and connect like-minded people and organisations. To make learning on Social Pedagogy more easily available, we secured Erasmus+ funding to develop a Massive Open Online Course on Social Pedagogy across Europe in a collaboration between 8 organisations from across six countries. The MOOC is available via Coursera, the largest global online learning platform, with free access to all learning resources. During the pandemic we also launched a free webinar series Exploring Social Pedagogy Concepts during Turbulent Times, which is available on our YouTube channel. Furthermore, we founded the International Journal of Social Pedagogy as an open access journal now published by UCL Press and co-edited by Gabriel Eichsteller (ThemPra) and Prof Claire Cameron (UCL Institute of Education).

A key strand of our ethos has been to grow the community of people and organisations exploring Social Pedagogy within a UK context. To this extent, we set up the Social Pedagogy Development Network as a free community of practice, which now includes 1,200 individuals. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the SPDN offered 2 free in-person events each year, each hosted by a different organisation across the UK. Over the pandemic, the network has grown more internationally due to the shift towards us hosting events online, with the SPDN now being a key part of the Global Alliance for Social Pedagogy and Social Education.

Importantly, we have also worked actively on building connections with movements with similar ambitions. Since 2020, ThemPra has been part of the Human Learning Systems Collaborative, a network of public service transformation advocates working together to reimagine public service. Led by the Centre for Public Impact and Collaborate CIC, the HLS Collaborative has published various pioneering reports on Human Learning Systems along with case studies from organisations ranging from Local Authorities and civil society organisations in the UK, through to national Governments, and transnational organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme. As part of the HLS Collaborative, we facilitate a peer learning community on Social Pedagogy and HLS.

All of these activities combined put us in an excellent position to help organisations become part of relevant networks and practice communities, with access to people who have been on similar journeys and have equally great ambitions, as well as access to resources that enable our participants to continue learning independently.

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!