+1 Recommend
1 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Reinterpreting Bildung in Social Pedagogy

      International Journal of Social Pedagogy

      UCL Press

      Social pedagogy, Bildung, interpretive practice, moral frameworks, sociality

      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


          This article strives to reinterpret educational values in social pedagogy to provide a basis for a critique of evidence-based practices. The article focuses on traditions and developments in social pedagogy from a Danish perspective. However, the author often refers to ‘Denmark and the other Nordic countries’ due to the fact that many of the traditions and developments mentioned have taken place throughout Scandinavia. The author argues that ‘the social’ or ‘sociality’ in social pedagogy is not an evidence-based concept and must therefore be continually open for interpretation by professionals and clients alike. Furthermore, it is argued that this continual interpretive ‘quest’ ( MacIntyre, 2003; Taylor, 1989) is a foundational practice in social pedagogy. As a response to the prevalence of ‘evidence-based practice’ and so-called scientific ‘hard facts’ within the social professions, the author argues for the necessity of interpretive spaces. The article explicates how the social pedagogical tradition in Denmark has built on the German educational tradition of Bildung, i.e. a broad, holistic, humanistic concept of education. The objective of Bildung is to educate not just toward knowledge but toward sociality. To work with Bildung within a social pedagogical framework, it is argued, practitioners need to be sensitive to historical, cultural and biographical narratives. However, such narrative sensitivity is only one side of the coin in working with Bildung in social pedagogy. It is equally important is to develop a culture that produces human presence ( Gumbrecht, 2004). Practitioners must therefore navigate between interpretation and presence. The author argues that the knowledge base that this type of practice builds on is phenomenological hermeneutics ( Ricoeur, 1976; van Manen, 2016). From this perspective the author discusses how the values of this tradition can be re-interpreted in a late modern society.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 6

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Article: not found

          From resilience to resistance: A reconstruction of the strengths perspective in social work practice

            • Record: found
            • Abstract: not found
            • Article: not found

            Socialpædagogikkens Udvikling i Danmark

             T Erlandsen (2013)
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: not found
              • Article: not found

              Social Pædagogik i det moderne

               N. JENSEN (2013)

                Author and article information

                International Journal of Social Pedagogy
                Int. J. Soc. Pedagog.
                UCL Press
                27 June 2019
                : 8
                : 1
                Department of Social Education, University College Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
                Author notes
                © 2019, Bill Cleary.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited • DOI:

                Page count
                Pages: 12
                Conceptual Critique
                Custom metadata
                Cleary, B. (2019). Reinterpreting Bildung in Social Pedagogy. International Journal of Social Pedagogy, 8 (1): 3. DOI:


                Comment on this article

                International Journal of Social Pedagogy
                Volume 8, Issue 1

                Similar content 97

                Cited by 2

                Most referenced authors 10