Social pedagogy theory and practice have developed since the 19th century, but because it is a fairly new concept for the UK and the English-speaking world, it may be helpful at the outset to give a summary explanation. We shall see that one way of looking at it is through the lens of social policy. It can be taken to apply to measures which address the interests and concerns of society by broadly educational provision and practice, as one of many policy options. For example, concern about families could be addressed fiscally or via a benefit system. But they could also be addressed through what in many countries would be seen as social pedagogic provision such as the children’s centre, where informal education plays a large part. Nevertheless, while theoretically such provision can be conceptualized as social pedagogy, in the UK, at least, the practice and theory base of social pedagogy as such has until recently been less developed. The following chapter has more to say about this and how social pedagogy sets out to support human development, with an awareness of its individual and, importantly, social dimensions. Thus social pedagogy can apply to services across the age range, from childhood to old age, on the basis that human development is a life-long process. However, my own research into the subject has been largely about children, young people, family support and children’s residential and foster care, so it is this work that I refer to in what follows.


Young People Social Justice Residential Care Critical Awareness Social Pedagogy 
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