A historical and theoretical reconstruction of the specificity and peculiarity of
the discipline of social pedagogy, as it has developed in Denmark. Social pedagogy
takes its departure from the idea that the individual person and the community are
complementary but at the same time opposed to each other, so the task of social pedagogy
is rebalancing the dynamics between the two. Social pedagogy is also characterised
as a discipline with three dimensions: a practical dimension, a theoretical dimension
and a professional dimension. The professional’s task is neither to apply theory in
practice nor to uphold the usual practice; it is to mediate between theory and practice.
The specificity of the discipline gives rise to particular challenges and dilemmas
that theorists make understandable and transparent and practitioners have to deal
with. A big challenge for social pedagogy is the quest for evidence-based methods
that overrides the specificity of the social pedagogical approach. Balancing different
forms of knowledge implies that programmes and methods are used as inspiration that
can be contained in a social pedagogical approach.