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It is a debt owed to children by the adult generation. Upbringing relationships are grounded in the difference between the generations and the personal and cultural need for upbringing Seavi, This is an important point because it recognizes differentials in power and in expertise or just knowledge of the ways of the world, which other discourses that can be applied to child care, such as rights, for instance, do not adequately address. Generally, upbringing happens just through the very fact of adults and children sharing a common life-space, through processes of what Mollenhauer calls presentation and representation see SJRCC article, above.

The task of passing on what is considered a valued cultural heritage depends on adults believing that they have something valuable to pass on to children. As Mollenhauer states:. Anyone who does not have a heritage of some kind to pass on will probably take little pleasure in raising or educating children. Conservative excesses threaten to turn upbringing into a ritualized duty. In many respects the climate of fear that surrounds much of state child care can contribute to a sense of adults loosing the desire but also the confidence and authority to care for children in a way that is open to the children taking different roads; this restricts the opportunities available to them and thus forecloses possibilities of what they might become.

Adults, crucially, need to have some belief in what is good and proper and worth passing on in their own lives. Central to upbringing is the exercise of adult responsibility. Too often, as the sociologist Frank Furedi points out, adults have become estranged from the task of taking responsibility for the younger generation. Adult confidence needs to incorporate a wider confidence in their cultural heritage and of what, within that is worth preserving and passing on.


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It can feel, in the current climate, like we have lost some of the moral purpose that characterised much residential child care in the past see Webb, The fact that adults should be open to children growing in unforeseen and unplanned ways is not to say that they should just take a step back and let this happen. One might think of practices such as swearing, for example; while adults may swear in the company of adult companions, they will not do so in front of children. Similarly, they may drink alcohol while in the company of children, and gradually introduce children themselves to it in a measured and thought-through way.


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Managing the complexity of such encounters happens in the context of pedagogical relationships. These are relationships that adults enter into for the good of the child; the relationship, as such, is asymmetrical, unlike many other personal relationships e. Such relationships are oriented to what the child may become. This end point, by its nature, is open-ended and cannot be determined by adult plans or goals; we cannot second-guess the outcomes of our attempts at upbringing.

So, while I would put myself, unequivocally, in the camp and one where, increasingly, there are arguments of any substance pitted against it of those who assert that the relationship is at the heart of good care, I would also argue that we need to take the next step and articulate just what sort of relationships we are talking about.

My suggestion here is that the concept of upbringing offers a helpful conceptual framework within which we might locate some of the purpose and nature of adult-child relationships.

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Kleipoedszus, S. Cameron, C. Mollenhauer, K. Forgotten Connections: On Culture and Upbringing. London: Routledge. This page is devoted to exploring social pedagogy or rather, perhaps, social pedagogies. Over the past few years, social pedagogy has attracted considerable political and professional attention. I do, however, fall prey to a level of cynicism about what might be behind the upsurge in political interest.

My concern is that, notwithstanding some examples of excellent practice, residential child care, systemically, is not working in the UK. Its difficulties are not just around simplistic and ideological arguments identifying poor outcomes but about the lack of any commonly understood or claimed conceptual base for what it is that residential care ought to be about.

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Yet, despite its failures residential child care remains stubbornly expensive and politically sensitive. Politicians recognise this, especially the expensive bit. They are likely to be receptive to arguments that Europe does things better and that most of Europe adopts some model of social pedagogy as its organising framework for caring for children.

The easy answer is to make a link between social pedagogy and improved outcomes for children and to seek to import a system into a very different social and cultural context. Academics, too, can be seduced by social pedagogy and I include myself in this. I thought I had a reasonable handle on it and have gone so far as to commit some of my ideas to print along with a colleague, Bill Whyte. Then, attending meetings of the Centre for Understanding Social Pedagogy at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, I realise that Europeans, who I assumed had this sussed, have different and contingent understandings of what social pedagogy is or might be in their different national contexts.

The one thing I did feel on fairly solid ground on was a belief that social pedagogy took practice away from an overly individualised, therapeutic orientation towards a broadly socio-educational one. It is also pretty exciting, though, and offers an opportunity to begin to build up a view of what social pedagogy might be in a UK context and perhaps what social pedagogy might be in different national contexts within the UK. I could just about manage therapy at that level. This page is provided as a discussion space between what has broadly developed as therapeutic care in the UK and the social pedagogic models which have developed in Europe.

Although these have a focus on residential child care it is our view that the principles which underpins these positions have relevance to the nurture of all children. The page is edited by Mark Smith. There is along standing British tradition of therapeutic child care practice based on psychodynamic foundations. There is a growing interest, discussion and development taking place about Social Pedagogy. In European countries the two approaches are both united and separate, an understanding has been developed through dialogue.

There is recogntion of the need for both approaches to meet needs, and that inform the practice of each tother. This page offers a space for a dialogue — papers,presentations,articles comments and discussion.

The challenge lies in inviting them to explore beyond their own perspective, to be open to genuine dialogue which recognises others as equal partners in exploring a theme together. It might be helpful for the discourse to approach professionals in Denmark or Germany or other countries to contribute too, so that we can get many perspectives on social pedagogy which reflect the diversity and complexity but also give a sense of what underpins it.

Like Norma I would be interested to know how far these initiatives developed.

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Viki Bird worked as an Learning Support Assistant for 2 years in mainstream education and then moved into mainstream residential child care work where she has worked for 4 years. For the last 3 years Viki has been heavily involved in the implementation of Social Pedagogy which has been a great source of inspiration for her. Gabriel Eichsteller is a director of Thempra, an organisation that provides personal and professional development courses in social pedagogy and works together with organisations on systemic implementation projects and promotes social pedagogy across the UK.

The problem is how to remain an artist once growing up. In many European countries social pedagogy has historically evolved as a profession and discipline concerned with holistic education and well-being. As such it has roots in youth work, social welfare, early years, formal education, and care settings. Whilst the meaning of social pedagogy in practice will differ depending on the setting and context, there are common principles underpinning social pedagogy.

This perspective of social pedagogy means that it is dynamic, creative, and process-orientated rather than mechanical, procedural, and automated. It demands from social pedagogues to be a whole person, not just a pair of hands. In doing so, we hope that you can see the potential which lies in social pedagogy, the learning opportunities it offers us all to become even better and realise our own potential.

Social pedagogy is not about good practice — it is about better practice. Rather than having a good-enough approach, social pedagogy encourages us to be aspirational, to constantly look for ways to improve our work. After all, it lies within our human nature that we can always learn more, further enhance our well-being and develop even stronger relationships. Social pedagogy has given them a framework, which guides them on their journey and helps them identify areas of development.

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In this process they have mainly built on the resources and potential within their team, and their ability to relate their practice to social pedagogy as well as their persistence to work on some of the more difficult and challenging issues have led to an impressive journey for the team and the young people in their care. This began with the organisation, ThemPra Social Pedagogy, introducing itself at conferences and visits to our homes, followed by 6-day training courses on social pedagogy, 2-day residential courses to develop social pedagogy change agents, team days to develop a social pedagogic culture and follow-up degree level course work.

I speak as one of many Social Pedagogy Agents and residential workers who have fully engaged with this holistic and solution-based approach to working with young people, and as one who seeks to enthuse and motivate my colleagues and others across Essex and beyond to recognise the benefits of working with social pedagogy. In my experience social pedagogy enables confidence, backed up by theory and experience to best support young people in our care in their learning and development.

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