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      Social pedagogical perspectives on fidelity to a manual: Professional principles and dilemmas in everyday expertise

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          Abstract

          Manualised interventions, in use across the UK for decades and increasingly in use in Denmark, aim to support change through professional practitioners following detailed prescriptions of what they must do to affect a particular change in the target group. Social pedagogy, a strong professional tradition in Denmark and an emerging profession in the UK, takes an approach that responds to the individual’s experience of the immediate situation, seeks to nurture relational opportunities and to empower people to fully participate in their lives and society. Harbo’s research reveals that this approach can be at odds with manualised interventions for a variety of reasons. A social pedagogically informed programme has been developed in London that uses a clear ethical stance and key theories as its foundation, and upon which structures have been developed, but no manual. This article explores the use of these manualised and non-manualised interventions in Denmark and the UK and the roles of social pedagogues in supporting change through programmatic interventions. Harbo’s doctoral research findings on practice surrounding the highly prescriptive manual Aggression Replacement Training in Denmark ( Harbo, 2019) is explored alongside Kemp’s reflections on the social pedagogically informed Family Learning Intervention Programme in England, examining the tensions and synergies that emerge around each programme when they meet reality and the individual characteristics of day-to-day situations. The perspectives presented emerge from practice research and reflections, and as such are based in an experiential research tradition. Finally, we draw together our learning and openings for further research and policy development.

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          Most cited references 15

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          The Myth of Evidence-Based Practice: Towards Evidence-Informed Practice

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            Evidence-Based Practice at a Crossroads: The Timely Emergence of Common Elements and Common Factors

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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.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                IJSP
                International Journal of Social Pedagogy
                UCL Press
                2051-5804
                14 September 2020
                : 9
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Lecturer, VIA University College, Aarhus, Denmark
                [2 ]Director, Kemp Consultancy, London, UK
                Author notes
                Article
                IJSP-9-12
                10.14324/111.444.ijsp.2020.v9.x.012
                © 2020, Lotte Junker Harbo and Robyn Kemp.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (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.2020.v9.x.012.

                Page count
                Pages: 13
                Categories
                Article
                Custom metadata
                Harbo, L.J., & Kemp, R. (2020). Social pedagogical perspectives on fidelity to a manual: Professional principles and dilemmas in everyday expertise. International Journal of Social Pedagogy, 9(1): 12. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ijsp.2020.v9.x.012.

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                International Journal of Social Pedagogy
                Volume 9, Issue 1

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