Education Research Seminar: Paul Stephens, University of Stavanger
Come along to our Research seminar: What is the subject matter of social pedagogy and what is the aim of social pedagogy?
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What is the subject matter of social pedagogy and what is the aim of social pedagogy?
Professor Paul Stephens, University of Stavanger, Norway
Wednesday 2 March 2016, 1-2pm
129 Mayfield House, Falmer
Notwithstanding the risk of over-simplifying disciplinary knowledge, Paul Natorp (1904, p. 94) offers a concise definition of the subject matter of social pedagogy: ’The social aspects of education, broadly understood, and the educational aspects of social life constitute this science’ [social pedagogy]. My brackets.
In a stroke of genius, Natorp has identified the social in the educational and the educational in the social. This might sound obvious. Yet the polarization of the “social” and the “educational” into distinct domains has strong roots in the UK, where social care and schooling have often been seen as separate functions. As regards the mission of social pedagogy, Natorp (1904) states his opinion in the title of his seminal work: Sozialpädagogik. Theorie der Willenserziehung auf der Grundlage der Gemeinschaft [Social Pedagogy: The Theory of Educating the Human Will into a Community Asset].
Stated succinctly, social pedagogy must strive to find and foster the wherewithal to socialize/educate children and adults into compassionate values and sharing norms, the practical and ethical goal being social justice.
Paul Stephens is Inaugural Professor of Social Pedagogy at the University of Stavanger, in Norway. He has written, either as solo, main or co-author, about 15 books/book chapters, the latest book being Social Pedagogy: Heart and Head (2013). Other academic publications in peer-reviewed journals include: studies on the evaluation of school bullying interventions, and cross national lesson drawing in social pedagogy. He is currently conducting research and also writing in the field of human rights and access to healthcare in Norway for undocumented migrants.