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      The Art of Being a Social Pedagogue: Developing Cultural Change in Children’s Homes in Essex

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          As one of the first organisations in the UK to pioneer social pedagogy within its residential service, Essex County Council began working together with ThemPra Social Pedagogy in September 2008. This article describes some of the ways in which social pedagogy influenced the culture and practice in the local authority’s children’s homes. In contrast to other evaluations, most notably Berridge and colleague’s (2011) evaluation of the English government’s social pedagogy pilot project, this paper draws on narrative material gathered over the 3-year project in order to provide insights into attitudinal changes amongst staff teams, to highlight how practitioners developed their understanding of social pedagogy and to offer examples of how teams improved their practice and culture throughout the project. By describing social pedagogic practice as an art form we aim to outline the holistic, dynamic and process-orientated nature of social pedagogy that distinguishes it from the procedurally driven, outcome-focussed practice which has been heralded by new managerialism ( Petrie et al., 2006; Smith, 2009). An abridged version of our full project report ( Eichsteller & Holthoff, 2012), the article focuses on four areas relating to the art of being a social pedagogue: Haltung, relationships, reflection, and culture.

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          Most cited references 5

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          Stress and Organizational Culture

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            Social Pedagogy as an Ethical Orientation towards Working with People - Historical Perspectives

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              Research – Raising the Bar? Evaluation of the Social Pedagogy Pilot in Residential Children's Homes

               J. Smeeton, (2011)

                Author and article information

                International Journal of Social Pedagogy
                UCL Press (UK )
                1 January 2012
                : 1
                : 1
                : 30-45
                ThemPra Social Pedagogy, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: G. Eichsteller, ThemPra Social Pedagogy, 3 Steeple Lane, Beaumaris, Anglesey, LL58 8DU, United Kingdom. Email: gabriel@

                *Gabriel Eichsteller and Sylvia Holthoff are directors of ThemPra Social Pedagogy, a social enterprise supporting professionals and organisations in exploring social pedagogy and relating its principles, philosophy and theories to their practice. They were ThemPra’s project leaders in the Essex Social Pedagogy project described in this article, and their full report is available online at Gabriel and Sylvia have also jointly published several articles and book chapters on social pedagogical issues.

                Copyright © 2012 The Author(s)

                This work is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-NC-SA) 3.0, which permits re-use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided any modifications of this material in anyway is distributed under this same license, is not used for commercial purposes, and the original author and source are credited

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 19, Pages: 17


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                International Journal of Social Pedagogy
                Volume 1, Issue 1

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