MRC Seminar - Social Pedagogy: A new approach for Children's Services

Wednesday 13 April 2011, 9.30AM to 12:00

Speaker(s): Manuel Palomares, Research Fellow of the Social Policy Research Unit, University of York

Social pedagogy is a discipline with a strong tradition in different European countries , and its focus is the study of a broad concept of education which is related to the holistic development of the human being, to its socialization and to the achievement of social justice and equity.  However, what is considered to be pedagogical, the developments of the discipline, and its role in the different countries vary considerably.

Where social pedagogy is employed, reported outcomes with young people are apparently better than in England. This is why several local authorities are introducing social pedagogy approaches in children’s services in their areas , despite the current financial and organisational uncertainties facing service delivery teams. Approaches vary locally, both in terms of embedding strategies and delivery structure models, as well as with regard to the involvement of a range of different teams and partner organisations. As a result, it is difficult to say with clarity what conceptions of social pedagogy are being implemented in England.

In seeking to understand the potential benefits and improved outcomes that might be achieved from implementing social pedagogical approaches, a national Pilot Programme has taken place in children’s homes in England from 2009 to 2011 funded by the DfE, organised by the Thomas Coram Research Unit (TCRU) and evaluated by the universities of Bristol and York. The findings of the evaluation will soon be available, and will present interesting considerations about the viability of adopting a social pedagogy approach in children’s homes, along with recommendations based on wider findings.

As a result of this interest from the government and certain local authorities/agencies, two English universities have created recently courses and a Masters on social pedagogy to train the future workforce. Taking all of the above into account, we will be considering the following in this seminar:

  • An overview of the different conceptions and traditions of social pedagogy in different societies.

  • Contributions of social pedagogy to children’s services in other countries: some examples, reflections and evidences.

  • The development of an English social pedagogy: current and future research, experiences and professional networks.
Manuel Pa lomares is a Research Fellow in the Social Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of York. He was a manager and psycopedagogue in Spanish children’s homes and worked in the design of a holistic educational framework for children’s homes with the government of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain). Manuel’s current and recent research focuses on education, and development and socialization of young people in social institutions, mainly residential child care and school.

Location: Conference Suite, Innovation Centre, York Science Park

Admission: £40. Or, free for agreed nominated members of staff from member agencies of Making Research Count (University of York)

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