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      Editorial: Special issue on social pedagogy in the Nordic countries

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          This International Journal of Social Pedagogy special issue on Social Pedagogy in the Nordic Countries generally stems from Hämäläinen’s (2012) definition of two main developmental lines of social pedagogy: a line of social care and welfare activities preventing and alleviating social exclusion, and a line of social education supporting growth into membership of society. In the Nordic countries, both of these lines exist in social pedagogical discussion, research and practice. The special issue aims to both discuss the existence of these lines as such and show examples of social pedagogical work in the arenas of both general and special social education.

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          Most cited references 18

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          Paradigms and Politics: Understanding Methods Paradigms in an Historical Context: The Case of Social Pedagogy

           Walter LORENZ (2008)
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            Defining Social Pedagogy: Historical, Theoretical and Practical Considerations

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              Social Pedagogy: An Approach Without Fixed Recipes

               Jan Jaap Rothuizen (corresponding) ,  Lotte Harbo (2017)
              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.

                Author and article information

                International Journal of Social Pedagogy
                Int. J. Soc. Pedagog.
                UCL Press
                08 February 2019
                : 7
                : 1
                Department of Social Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
                Author notes
                © 2019, Elina Nivala.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited • DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ijsp.2019.v7.1.011.

                Page count
                Pages: 9
                Custom metadata
                Nivala, E. (2019). Editorial: Special issue on social pedagogy in the Nordic countries. International Journal of Social Pedagogy, 7( 1): 11. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ijsp.2019.v7.1.011.


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                International Journal of Social Pedagogy
                Volume 7, Issue 1

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